HALL ON 2nd JULY 1983

The Annual General Meeting of the Winchester and Portsmouth Guild was held on Saturday 2nd July 1 983 in Hambledon Village Hall. 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 1400 hours with prayers, and then welcomed the members present, mentioning that Hambledon was the venue for the Guild A.G.M. for the first time. She congratulated members involved in the wide ranging accounts of activity appearing in the current Guild Report, and wished to thank members of the Executive, District Officers and the principal Guild Officers for their support during her Trienniel period of office.

Apologies for absence

Written apologies had been received from:-

Mrs.B.Townsend; Mr. and Mrs.J.Reynolds; Mr. and Mrs.G.Grant; Mr. and Mrs.C.Denyer; Mr. and Mrs.D.Chapman; Mr. and Mrs.K.Croft; Mr. and Mrs.G.Wright; Rose Lee; Debbie Watson.

Telephoned apologies had been received from:-

Rev.H.C.Hall; Mr. and Mrs.A.Carton; Rev. and Mrs. Beaumont.

Loss of members through death

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

Mr.J.Harding (Catherington); Mr.F.Price (Bournemouth); Mr.D.Cane (Bramley and Wolverton); Messrs G. and L. Noakes (whose joint service at Alton exceeds 100 years); Mr.M.Northway (Romsey).


Minutes of the A.G. M. held on 3rd July 1982 at Highclere had been duplicated and circulated with the agendas by the Secretary. Mr.Esbester drew attention to an irrelevant item under "Bell Restoration Fund". The Secretary apologised and removed "in 1981" from the first paragraph. The meeting then agreed that the Master sign the amended Minutes as correct, on the proposition of Mr.Collins, seconded by Cdr.Harris.

Matters arising

(a) A letter of thanks had been despatched to Mr. and Mrs. Nabb.

(b) Letters had been despatched to Messrs. Symes, Moody and Denyer, welcoming them as Hon. Life Members.

(c) The Secretary reported that the 6 bells from St. Mary's, Sydmonton, had been removed in pieces on Saturday 29th January by members of the Guild, supervised by Mr.Waldron, with the authority of diocesan officers, and of Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Webber. The bell metal had been transferred to Whitechapel Bell Foundry and it was planned to use this for augmentation at Ecchinswell (3 to 6), at Goodworth Clatford (6 to 8), and at Hursley (8 to 10). However the P.C.C. at Ecchinswell, part of the team ministry which had included Sydmonton, had made a strongly worded representation to the diocesan office to be given all the bell metal. Those in authority had hastily acquiesced to avoid any unpleasantness in the diocese, and the P.C.C. were negotiating the sale of the bell metal to raise money to repair the roof of St. Lawrence, Ecchinswell.


(a) A letter of thanks had been received from Rev.Croad of Sherfield English after receipt of the £70 grant from the Bell Restoration Fund.

(b) Mrs. Tarrant, from St. Mary's, Andover, had written to enquire about wedding ringing fees charged by other bands consequent upon a disagreement between Andover ringers and Rev.Chandler. The Secretary had duplicated the information he had gleaned so far, and circulated copies to the meeting for their information. He invited members to add further information if they wished.

(c) A long letter had been received from the Guild of St. Agatha, giving notification of their A.G.M. on 9th July, in Birmingham, and also attempting to allay any fears that their Guild wished to abstract members from Territorial Associations.

(d) A reply had been received from the new Provost of Portsmouth Cathedral indicating that he will be happy to act as Patron of the Guild. He also acknowledged the recommendation of the Executive Committee that Mr.R.M. Esbester represent the Guild, when so required, at meetings of Portsmouth Diocesan Advisory Committee.

(e) Letters had been received from the Bishops of Portsmouth, Southampton and Winchester, congratulating members on their participation in United Nations Day ringing on Sunday 24 October 1982.

(f) A letter had been received from Mr.D.Potter, in January, concerning the proposed National Open Bell Towers Week, 30th April to 7th May. He had replied that there was insufficient time for this to be discussed by the Guild, and that participation in this area could only be through action by individual bands. He had photocopied the details and circulated them to District Press Officers.

(g) The Guild had been invited to participate in the Tewkesbury Shield Competition. Unfortunately the date, 7th May, coincided with our Guild Ringing School. After consulting the Master and the Peal Recorder, the Secretary had replied declining the invitation.

(h) The Editor of "The Ringing World" had written regretting the poor standard of work by the printer of our 1981 Report, and stating that he will not accept any further advertisements from this firm.

(i) Mr.Denyer had written, delighted by his election as an Hon. Life Member of our Guild.

(j) Further letters had been received from the solicitors of the late Mr. and Mrs. Cheater, and a cheque for £2107-52 had been received, a legacy to our Guild Bell Restoration Fund.

(k) The Secretary's predecessor had become the Rev. B.J.Fry on 26th June. 200 cards giving advance notice of his ordination had been received. Some had been distributed with the agendas, and the remainder had been placed on members' seats.

(l) Mr. and Mrs. Kippin had written, expressing concern over the clashing of dates for district and Guild events. The Secretary reminded the meeting that he had circulated copies of the amended rota to District Secretaries last December, and discussion of same had appeared on the agenda for the March Executive Meeting. This item, number 21 on an agenda of 25 items, had been "held over" for the next meeting due to a lack of time. The Master asked Mr. and Mrs. Kippin if they were prepared to leave this for discussion at the November meeting, and they acquiesced.

(m) Mrs. Salmons had received a letter from the Provost of Portsmouth Cathedral asking her to pass on his thanks to all ringers who participated in the Portsmouth Diocesan Pilgrimage to Canterbury on Monday 30th May. (A report on this event appeared in R.W. 3768, page 577)

Honorary Life Membership

Mr.J.Weaver of St. Michael's, Basingstoke, and Mr.F.Mouland of St. Andrew's, Nether Wallop, have both maintained ringing membership of the Guild for over 50 years. In accordance with rule 6, the Master declared these gentlemen to be Honorary Life Members of the Guild. Mr.Weaver rose to thank the Guild and to speak of the happy times he had experienced while ringing in the Basingstoke area.

Mr.A.L.Mitchell of St.Mary's, Andover, had been elected between 1911 and 1915, and Mr.D.C.Oram of St. Mary's, Abbots Ann, had been elected about 1931. It was not the custom at that time to record names of elected members in district minutes, nor to record details of membership during the Second World War. The Executive Committee proposed the election of these two gentlemen as Honorary Life Members. This was seconded by Mr Frodsham, and carried nem.con.

Mrs.Salmons rose to apologise for failing to notify the meeting of the Portsmouth district member who had served for fifty years. She was unable to recall neither name nor tower, but promised to notify the Secretary in due course.

Hon. General Secretary's report

This is printed on page 3 of the 1982 Guild Report. The Secretary wished to thank district officials, all of whom had this year complied with new rule 15, enabling him to issue membership data at the March Executive Committee meeting. This indicated the overall effect upon membership following the implementation of the rise in membership subscriptions by 100% at the 1981 A.G.M. The total membership had increased by 1, from 881 to 882. The Secretary congratulated Channel Islands district on a 24% increase, Basingstoke 12% and Winchester 9%. Alton and Petersfield had a 13% decrease, but already Hugh and Maureen had recovered the Hawkley band. Christchurch and Southampton had a 20% decrease, but although Faith and Tony had reclaimed the Minstead band, the 27 members lost from Southampton City Centre leaves only two ringers to cover both rings of 10 bells in Southampton. This report was accepted on the proposition of Mr.Waldron, seconded by Mr.K.Sansom.

Hon. General Treasurer's report

This and the accounts are printed on pages 5 and 6 of the Guild Report. They were accepted on the proposition of Mr.R.Le Marechal, seconded by Mr. Esbester.

Hon. Peal Recorder's report

This, the peal analysis and details of the 131 peals appear between pages 37 and 50 in the current Guild Report. Mr.Cater pointed out that peal 7068, Plain Bob Major at Liss Campanile, was not accepted by the peals analysis sub-committee of the Central Council. The Secretary stated that he had intended to challenge this decision at the Central Council meeting but in view of the last sentence of the Peal Recorder's report in the 1982 minutes he could not do so with the backing of the Guild. Mr.A.T.Collins proposed that the Guild accept peal 7068, and this was seconded by Mr.Le Marechal. Mr.Waldron spoke strongly on the likelihood of a disreputable portion of the Exercise being encouraged to ring peals on pots, pans and other impedimenta if such a decision were accepted. Mr. Kippin commented that it was not possible to ascertain by listening to the sound emanating from these galvanised buckets whether the peal was true or false. On being put to the vote, 21 members voted for and 32 against this proposition. Mr.Waldron proposed that the Guild only accept peals if they are rung on instruments made as bells. The Master pointed out that this was a change of rule and must be left until the 1984 A.G.M. in order to comply with new rule 22. Mr.Le Marechal's report was accepted, on the proposition of Mr.Collins, seconded by Mr.Bailey.

Hon. Librarian's report

This and the accounts for the library fund are printed on pages 13 and 14 of the 1982 Report. They were accepted on the proposition of Mr.T. Matcham, seconded by Mr.N.White. The Master thanked Mr.Haythorne for the hard work he had put into his year of office.

Bell Restoration Fund

Mr.J.P.Colliss introduced the trustees' report, printed on page 9 of the Guild Report, and the accounts of this fund, on page 8, and added that this fund is in a very healthy condition. The adoption of this report was proposed by Mr. J.Frodsham, seconded by Mr. Hatfield, and carried, nem. con

On behalf of the trustees, Mr.F.E.Collins explained the requests received for grants and the recommendations made by the trustees:-

(a) St.Peter's, Bournemouth. Major work on clappers, pulleys, sliders etc., and the rehanging of the Tenor by Taylor's. Cost £1219. Recommended grant £150 (12.3%)

(b) SS. Peter and Paul, Hambledon. Following repairs to the masonry of the church, the tower is now encased in scaffolding to check this masonry. It is in such a dangerous condition that unless repairs costing £19000 are completed, the very limited amount of ringing permitted will cease completely. Recommended grant £500 (2.6%)

(c) St.Barnabas, Swanmore. Retune and rehang bells in an improved frame by Whitechapel Bell Foundry. Cost £11243. Recommended, grant £1400 (12.5%)

(d) St. Nicolas, North Stoneham. Replacement of timbers in the tower. Cost £150. Recommended grant £20 (13.3%)

(e) All Saints, Basingstoke. Repairs to louvres, windows and trap door, including erection of scaffolding. Cost £598. Recommended grant £75. Mr.Hill intervened to state that the bill presented by the local builder was only for £445, and hence the recommended grant was reduced to £60 (13.5%)

Mr.Collins proposed the acceptance of these recommendations, this was seconded by Mr.M.Wilson, and carried nem. con. Mr.Kippin was unhappy that grants were made for masonry and timber work, and feared that more churches would apply for grants to help with work not actually on bell fittings. Mr.Collins drew Mr.Kippin's attention to B.R.F. rule 3 (Printed in 1979 Report, page 74)

Mr.Esbester stated that Guild beer glasses cost £469-20 and sales so far had raised £452-30. Sales of the remainder would soon produce a profit which would be added to the B.R.F. He did suggest that sales might be improved if consumption of alcoholic liquor at social events be forbidden unless Guild beer glasses were utilized! Mrs.J.Hall thanked members for the grant made to Hambledon, outlined the money raising schemes in operation and invited members to purchase copies of reprinted 1882 Hambledon Ringers' Rules.

Guild Public Relations Officer's report

This had been compiled by the Secretary and is printed on page 11 of the Guild Report. This was accepted on the proposition of Cdr.Harris, seconded by Mr.K.Sansom. The Secretary then announced the towers, known to him, participating in National Open Bell Towers week:-

2nd May. Portsea (200 visitors); Winchester (300 visitors); Arreton (15 visitors)
3rd May. Niton (1 visitor)
4th May. Hambledon (200 visitors)
5th May. Chale.
7th May. North Stoneham (30 visitors); Ryde (10 visitors); Milford-on-Sea; Bishops Waltham; various towers used by our Ringing School (sundry visitors)

Education sub-committee

Mr.A.P.Smith introduced this report, printed on pages 9 to 11 of the Guild Report. He was disappointed by the poor response to the 1982 survey, but encouraged by the popularity of the May Ringing Schools. Next year the school would be arranged on 12th May. This report was accepted, on the proposition of Mr.J.K. Foot, seconded by Mr.R.M.Esbester.

Striking Competitions sub-committee

In the absence of Mr. Reynolds, Mr.A.T.Collins introduced this report, printed on page 11 of the Guild Report. The new committee have considered all alterations of rules suggested by members, have submitted these to the Executive Committee, and the new rules appearing on the 1983 entry forms are those accepted by the Executive. The 6 bell competition would be held at Fawley on the 15th October, and entry forms were available from Mr. Collins. This report was accepted, on the proposition of Miss A.Bennett, seconded by Mr.J.J.Hill.

Social sub-committee

Mrs.G.Cater introduced this report, printed on page 9 of the 1982 Report. The Master complimented all those concerned in the organisation of the very successful Guild Luncheon on the Isle of Wight, on Saturday 21st May (see report in R.W. 3764, page 487). The Secretary requested the date for the 1984 Dinner in order to include this in details for the "Ringers' Diary" and was informed this would be 14th April 194. The report was accepted, on the proposition of Mr.Esbester, seconded by Mr.Le Marechal.

1982 Guild Report

Cdr. Harris commented that the final trauma concerning the unsatisfactory 1981 Report was the late delivery, some time after the 1982 A.G.M. However the printer had offered to reduce the cost to £500, producing considerable saving to our Central Fund. The 1982 Report was printed, once again, by John Longridge, with a new layout, condensing the contents to 48 pages (compared to 84 pages for 1981). However the cost was £700. The Master commended Cdr. Harris for all his effort and the hard work required during the trienniel period. Mrs.Kippin commented that bell ringers always prefer a good item, and are usually prepared to pay for it.

Report of the 1983 Central Council Meeting

Mr.A.P.Smith reported that this was held at Lichfield, Staffordshire, on 31st May, attended by a record 191 members. He commented upon the excellent Open Meeting on 30th May, based on Graded Assessments, during which our Guild received considerable publicity over its co-operation. Excellent accounts of the events can be found in R.W. 3763, page 463, 3765, pages 509 - 514, 3766, pages 539 - 544.

The Secretary commented that, during the proceedings, he had heard mention of the Peterborough Guild arranging for the covenanting of members' annual subscriptions, and that subsequently he obtained full details of this scheme from the officers concerned. If this scheme could be implemented in our Guild we would be able to claim 86p for each full Guild member covenanting, from the Income Tax Office. He proposed and Mr.Sansom seconded, that the Executive Committee consider this scheme, and this was carried, nem.con.

Insurance for Guild Members

Following investigations by the Insurance sub-committee, established during the 1981 A.G.M., the Executive Committee proposed that the outlined in the schedule printed on the agenda be effected for members of this Guild, with effect from 1st January 1984. This was seconded by Mr.J.Wimlett. Mr.J.K.Foot, convenor of the sub-committee, outlined the Personal accident and Public Liability cover described in the schedule. There were many dissenting voices raised concerning this item, including those of Messrs. Haythorne, Waldron, Murduck, Harris and the Hon.General Treasurer. After a period of mounting confusion, Mr. Green proposed and Mr.Esbester seconded that the three forms of cover be voted on separately, (a) Personal Accident (b) non-routine maintenance (c) Public Liability. This was agreed, nem. con. On being put to the vote, (a) was defeated by a substantial majority, (b) was adopted by 46 votes against 10 (c) was adopted by a large majority against 4. Mr.Esbester asked if the Guild officers could implement this decision.

"The Ringing World"

This is now a limited company, responsible for the production of the publication bearing the same name. However there is now a liability on each Central Council representative up to £5. Mrs.Vivian Stacey proposed and Mr.L.Bailey seconded, that the Guild indemnify its four representatives for £5 a head. This was carried, nem. con.

Guild subscriptions

These appear on page 3 of the 1982 Report, The Treasurer stated that, in view of the decision on item (a) for Guild Insurance, no increase was necessary.

At this point there was a break for the service and tea.

Central Council graded assessments

Mr.A.P.Smith summarised the activity inaugurated by the Education sub-committee since January on this matter. To date 6 certificates had been presented by the Guild Master, all to members of the Andover district, as follows:-

Grade 1 - Hilary & Jocelyn Thorne, Toby Hash, and Fred Salmon, all of Thruxton tower.
Grade 3 - Nicola Wilkins and Michael Bull of Andover tower.

The sub-committee had produced a notice advertising the scheme, and a booklet containing all the information required. Copies were available for each band, and had been distributed by Mr.Cater, via. District Secretaries. Mr.Cater summarised the discussions on this item at the Central Council Open Meeting, and stressed that it was intended as an extra teaching aid in bands who would like to use it. In no way was it intended to be used as a means of grading experienced ringers.

Election of Officers for the Trienniel Period 1983 - 1986

(a) Guild Master.

Mrs.Davis vacated the chair at this point, and requested Mr.F.E.Collins to conduct this election. Mr.Mitchell proposed the re-election of Mrs. Davis, and this was seconded by Mr.Jackson. No other nomination was received, and Mr.Collins thanked Mrs.Davis for her work for the Guild, congratulated her on her achievements, and announced her election for a further, trienniel period. This was received with acclamation. Mrs. Davis thanked the Guild, stated that she had covered 6000 miles officially and had that week needed to acquire a new car. She promised to continue visiting, particularly towers not yet visited, including those in the Channel Islands.

(b) Hon. General Secretary

Mr.F.E.Collins proposed the re-election of Mr.D.C.Jackson, and this was seconded by Rev.B.J.Fry.

(c) Hon. General Treasurer

Mr.R.M.Esbester proposed the re-election of Mr.J.P.Colliss, and this was seconded by Mr.M.K.Waldron.

(d) Hon. Peal Recorder

Miss A.Bennett proposed the re-election of Mr.R.Le Marechal, and this was seconded by Miss.K. Le Marechal.

(e) Hon. Report Editor

Mr.F.E.Collins proposed the re-election of Cdr.W.A.Harris, and this was seconded by Mrs. J.Kippin.

(f) Hon. Librarian

Mr.M.K.Waldron proposed the re-election of Mr.W.O.Haythorne, and this was seconded by Mr.R.McGowan. Mr.Haythorne was concerned over advancing decrepitude, and the number of stairs up to St.Mary's belfry, and stated that he would prefer someone else to be appointed, or would accept nomination if a deputy could be appointed. It was suggested by Mr.Esbester that Mr.Haythorne finds himself a deputy and confirm the arrangement with Guild Master and General Secretary. This was agreed.

(g) Guild Public Relations Officer.

Mr.D.C.Jackson proposed the election of Mr.R.Cater, and this was seconded by Mr.C.H.Kippin.

(h) Trustee of B.R.F. (Winchester Diocese)

Mr.J.P.Colliss proposed the re-election of Mr.F.E.Collins, and this was seconded by Mr.D.C.Jackson.

(i) Trustee of B.R.F. (Portsmouth Diocese)

Mr.R.Green proposed the re-election of Mr.R.M.Esbester, and this was seconded by Miss.C.K.Olding.

All the above gentlemen were elected unopposed.

(j) Four Representatives to the Central Council

The following nominations were received :-


After a ballot it was announced that the first four nominees had been elected to represent the Guild.

(k) Hon. Auditor

Miss. C.Joyce proposed the re-election of Mr.L.Bailey, and this was seconded by Mr.M.Wilson.

1984 Annual General Meeting

By rule this should take place in the Winchester District, and by tradition should be held on Saturday 7th July 1984. Mrs.Hall stated that, if our A.G.M. were held a month earlier, then students on F.E. courses in the area could attend. Mr.Esbester proposed that we accept the venue and date, given above, this was seconded by Mr.Sansom, and carried, nem. con.

Any Other Business

(a) Andover District advertised their Barn Dance for 9th July.

(b) The Report Editor announced a correction to the telephone number for the I.O.W. District Secretary.

(c) Mrs.McCallion advertised an evening cruise on the Basingstoke Canal for 22nd July on behalf of the Hursley bell fund.

(d) Mr.A.P.Smith regretted that there was insufficient response to the Education sub-committee's course on the teaching of bell ringing for 9 July.

(e) Mr.J.K.Foot suggested that the Channel Islands be included in the A.G.M. rota. The Master pointed out that this would require a change of rule, but suggested that he first ascertain the existence of reasonably inexpensive transport.

(f) The Treasurer reminded members about the availability of covenant forms for the B.R.F.

(g) The Master pointed out that the meeting had occupied a considerable period of time, and invited members to submit to the Secretary ideas for streamlining the procedure.

The Master closed the meeting, with prayers, at 1848 hours.