The Annual General Meeting of the Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild was held on Saturday 7th July 1984 in Holy Trinity Church Hall, Winchester. The Guild Master, Mrs.G.W.Davis, took the chair, and was supported by the Hon. General Secretary, Mr.D.C.Jackson, and the Hon. Treasurer, Mr.J.P.Colliss. Mrs. Davis commenced the meeting with prayers at 1400 hours, and welcomed the members present, mentioning in particular Mr. Ian Blondin from Alderney. She explained that the service would be the normal evensong in the Cathedral, and that the authorities there had made considerable efforts to include the Guild in today’s arrangements. This was due mainly to the excellent relations established between these authorities and the Cathedral bellringers. She also particularly wished to thank other Guild officers, sitting with her on the stage, for their efforts over the past twelve months, and also Messrs. McCallion and Cater for organising the showing of a Video film concerned with the clay bells of Liss campanile, prior to the meeting.

Apologies for absence

Written apologies had been received from:-

Mr.Littlefair; Mr.Cockle and the Bishop Waltham band; Mrs. Rainsley; Mr.Broad; Mr.H.Routh and Miss M.Tipper, Miss Roberts and the Liss band.

Telephoned apologies had been received from:-

Mr. and Mrs. McGowan and the North Stoneham band; Mr.A.Townsend and Miss J. Grice (being married at that very moment); Rev.H.C.Hall; Mr.J.Chesterman; Mrs.R.Haviland; Mr.I.Holdsworth; Mr.J.Worrall.

Loss of members through death

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

Mr.K.S.B.Croft (Guild Master 1977-80); Mr.C.Denyer (Life Member and retired editor of “The Ringing World”); Mr.F.Green (Life Member-Freshwater): Mr.H. Harrison (Life Member-Sopley); Miss E.Hayter (aged 10- Catherington) ; Mr.E. Hedger (Life Member-Alton); Mr.H.M.Marshall (Life Member-Havant); Mr.H.A. Mitchell (Life Member-St. Johns’s, Bournemouth); Mr.P.Murduck (Kingsclere); Mr. and Mrs. Osler (Life Members-Bramley); Mr.J. Naylor (Soberton); Mr.W.Rawles (Upham); Mrs.E.Scott (Alverstoke); Mr.A.Sherfield (Bentley); Mr.R.Symons (Lockerley)


Minutes of the A.G.M. held in Hambledon Village Hall on Saturday 2nd July 1983 had been duplicated by the Secretary and then circulated with the agendas. The Master signed these as correct on the proposition of Mr.Smith, seconded by Mr.Matcham.

Matters arising

(a) Letters had been despatched by the Secretary to Messrs. Weaver, Mouland, Mitchell, and Oram, welcoming them as Life Members.

(b) The rota for District Meetings had been discussed at the November Executive Meeting and the decision mode that such a rota was inoperable. However we would try to avoid dates for A.D.Ms. clashing, and those for Guild events from clashing with District events by the Secretary circulating a list of arranged events and dates, in December, before District Secretaries prepared District calendars for their A.D.Ms.

(c) Three suggestions for streamlining the July A.G.M. had been received, and these were discussed at the November Executive Committee Meeting. Mr. Piper suggested that a luncheon be provided and that the business meeting commence afterwards, continuing until completed. Mr. Cater suggested holding more than one Guild business meeting a year. Mr. Smith suggested the removal of the report of the Central Council Meeting, since it is reported so well in “The Ringing World”. The committee implemented the last suggestion for the 1984 A.G.M. The Master then asked that Districts discuss streamlining of the A.G.M. at their A.D.Ms., and decide whether they wish to continue with the removal of the C. C. Report.


(a) Mrs. Croft had written a letter of appreciation following the card and message sent by the Secretary, and following the attendance at Mr. Croft’s funeral in Lincoln by the Guild Master.

(b) Father Maxwell-Ward had written, thanking the Guild for the gift of bell metal used for the fifth of the new ring of 6 at The Sacred Heart, Bournemouth

(c) A letter of thanks had been received from All Saints, Basingstoke, thanking the Guild for the grant from the B.R.F. and congratulating the Treasurer on the speed with which the money was despatched

(d) A similar letter of thanks and congratulations was received from St. Peter’s, Bournemouth.

(e) Another was received from SS. Peter and Paul, Hambledon, and Mrs.Hall added her own thanks to the Guild and to the Master for attending Sunday morning to celebrate the conclusion of repairs.

(f) A letter of thanks for the allocation of a grant had been received from St.Barnabas, Swanmore. Mr.Colliss commented that the bells had been removed under the supervision of Mr.Waldron, had been recast at Whitechapel foundry, and had just been rehoisted into the bell chamber.

(g) The Clatford band had organised a “Bell Bonanza” on Sunday 4th March. The total collection was £55-71, and they had donated £18-57 of this to the B.R.F. in March.

(h) The Public Relations committee of the Central Council was worried that Guilds were not fully represented or known at diocesan level. They had sent out a questionnaire on this matter to all Guilds, replies to be sent to Mrs Newing.

(i) Amongst the communications received from the Winchester diocesan office was an appeal for unwanted bells by Rev.P.Newing for augmentation of the Brimpsfield ring.

(j) Mrs. Rainsley had written a booklet describing the restoration of Soberton church in 1884, the restoration and augmentation of the bells, George William’s involvement in early ringing and the peal rung on 17th January 1884, which was George’s first, the first on the bells, the second peal for the Guild and the first peal for the Guild in Hampshire. Also mentioned is the Centenary Peal, organised by the Secretary and conducted by the Treasurer, on 17th January 1984. Copies of the booklet are available, price £1.

(k) A letter had been received from the Peterborough Diocesan Guild concerning the scheme to transfer the redundant 10 bells from St. John the Divine, Leicester, to the north-west tower of Peterborough Cathedral. Guilds were being approached for contributions towards the £100000 needed. After considerable discussion from the floor, Mr.H.Milford proposed that we take no further action on this matter, as a Guild. This was seconded by Mr.J.J. Hill, and carried by a large majority against 4.

Honorary Life Membership

The following have been members of the Guild for over 50 years, as far as can be ascertained from records kept before 1934. In accordance with rule 6, the Master was pleased to confirm that they become Honorary Life Members of the Guild:-

Mr.R.Cockle (Bishops Waltham); Mr.H.Dudman (Soberton); Mr.A.Davis (Curdridge); Mr.R.Hassall (Overton); Mr.W.F.J.Cope (East Meon); Mr.L.Tremeer (New Alresford); Mr.L.Duguid (Portsea); Mrs.J.Hall, O.B.E. (Hambledon).

The last three members, present at the meeting, rose to receive the congratulations of the meeting.

Hon. General Secretary’s report

This is printed on page 3 of the 1983 Guild Report. Mr.Jackson wished to notify Guild Members of his change of address since 18th May 1984, and to apologise for a reduction in his Guild activities consequent upon his move. Since this move occurred one week before the 1984 Central Council Meeting, he had been unable to attend and represent the Guild, and for this he also apologised. He mentioned the co-option of Andrew Barnsdale to the Executive Committee as Guild Membership Secretary, the terms of reference having been duplicated and circulated to District Secretaries. This report was accepted, on the proposition of Mr.Esbester, seconded by Mr.Bailey.

Hon. General Treasurer’s report

This and the accounts are printed on pages 4, 5 and 6 of the Guild Report. Mr.Colliss commented that, yet again, the printers had omitted to print the ½p in the Central Fund Accounts. Mr.Hatfield suggested this redundant coin be made into a framed momento. The accounts and report were accepted, on the proposition of Mr.Grant, seconded by Mr.Collins.

Hon. Peal Recorder’s report

This, and the peal analysis and details of the 106 peals appear between pages 37 and 48, of the 1983 Report. Mr. Le Marechal pointed out that peals 7207, 7223 and 7239 were controversial. The Central Council had accepted 7223, implementing Central Council decision (D), sub-section E. The other two, both at Liss campanile, were rejected. Several members spoke in favour of the new clay bells, the subject of the Video shown before the meeting, and at the Central Council Meeting. The Guild Master had addressed the Council on this matter, encouraging members to accept the ceramic bells shapes specifically cast for Liss Campanile, upon which peal 7239 had been performed. Mr. Esbester proposed and Mr.Foot seconded, that the peal on the buckets (7207) be expunged. This was carried, 27 voting for and 14 against. Mr.Smith proposed and Mr. Esbester seconded that the amended Peal Recorder’s report be accepted. This was carried by a large majority against 5.

The Master then requested that ringers using the ceramic bells at Liss Campanile do respect and maintain the good reputation of the Guild in future performances. Mr.Cater pointed out that the rejection of the ceramic performances by the Central Council was not carried by an overwhelming majority. Mr.Bailey asked if it was possible to record suspect peals as miscellaneous performances, but Mr. Le Marechal said they must first appear in the peal lists, numbered, before their worth is ascertained.

Hon. Librarian’s report

This and the accounts for the library fund are printed on pages 13 and 14 of the current Guild Report. They were accepted on the proposition of Mr.Bailey, seconded by Mr.Colliss. Mr.Haythorne reported that Mr.N.White would now be actively involved with the management of the library in St. Mary’s belfry.

Bell Restoration Fund

Mr.J.P.Colliss stated that the report from the trustees was printed on pages 7 and 8 of the 1983 Guild Report, and the Rules were also printed this year, on pages 9 and 10. The Secretary stated that he had recently received a communication from the Clatford ringers stating that they wished to make a large donation to the B.R.F., and after an Extraordinary General Meeting of the band they had sent a cheque for £54. The Secretary handed the cheque to the Treasurer while the meeting applauded the Clatford ringers’ generosity.

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

(a) St. Pierre du Bois, Guernsey (3)

Purchase of a redundant ring of 10 bells from St. Catherine’s, Feltham, and installation by Whitechapel to mark the 40th anniversary of the liberation in 1985. Cost £35000. Recommended grant £1500.

(b) St.John the Baptist,Niton, Isle of Wight. (5)

Augmentation 5 bells to 6 by Whitechapel. Cost £5000. Recommended grant £750 i.e. 15% of the total cost.

(c) St. Mary the Virgin, Micheldever (6)

Essential repair to the masonry of the tower which, like that of the church building, is in a dangerous condition. Cost £36872. Recommended grant £500.

(d) Ste. Marguerite de la Forêt, Guernsey (4)

Augmentation 4 bells to 6 by Whitechapel. Cost £4438 to rehang the existing bells, and £4476 to cast and hang two trebles. Since the Douzaine on the Channel Islands is responsible for all costs for work involving existing bells, the first cost is completely covered. It is recommended that a grant of £500 be made towards the second cost i.e. 11.17% of this cost.

Mr.Collins proposed the acceptance of the recommendations, the Rev. Fry seconded, and this was carried, nem.con.

Guild Public Relations Officer

Mr. Cater’s report appears on page 10 of the current Guild Report. He also outlined his plans for a trail run of a Guild Newsletter, as approved by the Executive Committee, and requested material for this. The report was accepted on the proposition of Mr.F.E.Collins, seconded by Mr.Chapman, and carried nem.con.

Mr. Cater also suggested that a memorial be considered for the late Mr. K.S.B.Croft, Guild Master 1977 - 80. Mrs. Kippin suggested that current memorials had been established only for past Guild Masters who had served for more than one period of office. Mr.Waldron suggested that, instead, an honours board, recording Past Masters and their periods of office, be constructed. Mr. Milford asked whether suggestions could be submitted and discussed by the Executive Committee. The Master requested that the matter be discussed by districts, and suggestions be presented to the Executive Committee.

Education sub-committee

Mr.A.P.Smith had nothing to add to the report printed on page 11 of the Guild Report. This was accepted, on the proposition of Mr.Colliss, seconded by Miss J.W.Reed.

Mr. Smith stated that letters had been sent to District Ringing Masters, informing them about students from their districts who attended the 1984 Ringing School. He also wished to advertise:-

The maintenance course on 29th September at Hursley.
Theory on five winter evenings, 8th November, 7th December, 8th January, 6th February, 4th March, all free.
The Ringing School on 11th May 1985

Striking Competitions sub-committee

No member of the sub-committee was present to introduce the report, printed on page 12 of the Guild Report. It was, however, accepted, on the proposition of Mr.Wilson, seconded by Mr.Matcham.

Mr.Colliss did not consider that the touch of 160 Bob Major, used for the Inter-District Competition, contained any musical qualities. Mrs. Kippin was concerned that the excellent teas provided at the 1984 competitions were intended to cater for the large numbers notified, but which on the days failed to materialise. Both organisers were left disappointed by the food left unconsumed, and the financial loss they incurred. Mrs. Matcham pointed out that many members of District teams were also members of tower teams, resulting in several numbers being submitted for tea twice. The Master said that these worries would be brought to the attention of the sub-committee. The Secretary reminded the meeting that the sub-committee were planning to hold the first Trienniel 10-Bell, Inter-District Competition in 1986.

Social sub-committee

Mrs. Chapman introduced the report, printed on page 13 of the current Report. This was accepted, on the proposition of Cdr. Harris, seconded by Mrs. Matcham.

Mrs. Chapman announced that a Barn Dance had been arranged for 6th October, in Eastleigh. Also that the 1985 Dinner would be held on either 20th or 27th April. Mr.Waldron complimented past and present members of the committee on the excellent 1984 Dinner, held at Ashurst.

Change of Peal Fees (Rule 19)

It was proposed by the Executive Committee that, in the first paragraph of Rule 15, 15p shall be replaced by 25p. Also that the second paragraph now read:-

“At the end of each calendar year, 10p from each peal fee shall be transferred to the Guild Bell Restoration Fund, and the remaining 15p shall be credited to the General Fund towards the cost of printing peals in the Annual Report”.

Cdr. Harris seconded this proposition, pointing out that, at present, 5p per person was received from peal fees towards printing them in the Report, though it cost, on average, 20p per person. This change of rule will bring in 15p per person. This change was carried, nem. con., and will apply from 1st January 1985.

New Rule 22

It was proposed by the Executive Committee:-

“In the event of either:

(a) redundant bells coming into the possession of the Guild

(b) the advice of the Guild being sought on the disposal or movement of redundant bells,

the Trustees of the Bell Restoration Fund shall be empowered to decide upon the disposition of such bells or offer such advice as they feel is appropriate. Where possible, such decisions or advice shall be subject to confirmation by the Guild Executive or Annual General Meeting of the Guild”

This proposition was seconded by Mr.Matcham. Mr.Waldron spoke against this proposition, and Mr.Foot proposed an amendment. However the latter was not seconded. On being put to the vote, the proposition was carried by a large majority against 2.

In view of this decision, the Master proposed from the chair that present rule 22 become rule 23. This was carried, nem.con.

Change of Rule 19

It was proposed by the Executive Committee:-

This was seconded by Mr.M.Wilson. Mr.Smith explained the reasoning behind this major change, that peals now be rung by the Guild and not for the Guild, and thus reflect the standard of ringing achieved by resident members of our Guild. On being put to the vote the proposition was carried by a large majority against 1. Mr.P.Hill asked if the Secretary could inform the Exercise of this decision, via “The Ringing World”. Mr. Esbester asked if this could be effected for December.

1985 Annual General Meeting.

By rule this should take place in the Christchurch area, and by tradition should be held on Saturday 6th July 1985. Mr. Collins proposed we accept the venue and date, and this was seconded by Mr.M.Wilson, and carried nem. con. Mrs.Webster, the Christchurch and Southampton District Secretary, stated that parking problems and the abundance of holidaymakers made Christchurch a difficult venue, while Rev.B.J.Fry suggested that the large hall and plentiful, free parking at Highcliffe made this a more suitable venue.

1986 Guild Festival

The Master stated that her first term of office, following three hectic years around Centenary celebrations, had been one of consolidation for the Guild. She now wished, in her second term, to present the Guild with a goal that could unite all Districts in its implementation. Since it was not practicable to include the very active Channel Islands District in the rota for A.G.Ms., she proposed to that district and to the Executive, that a Guild Festival be planned for 1986 in the Channel Islands.

Mr.Blondin spoke on behalf of members in that district, stressing the enthusiasm and excitement resulting from this proposal. The festival would be based in Guernsey, since the new 6 and 10 would be installed by 1986, and a package could be organised by a Guernsey based travel firm, costing between £139 (using four star hotels) and £110 (using guest houses) for half-board. The air fare in this package would be reduced to about £42, but would not include fares for visits to Jersey or Alderney. Late May or June were the suggested months, avoiding Bank Holidays and Liberation Day (9th May), for a three day festival.

The Master stated that arrangements would probably include a luncheon, a Barn Dance, and a Festival Service to which the Deans could be invited.

Mr.Foot asked that we consider younger member of the Guild, and avoid the external examination period in June. Mr.Cater wished to confirm that the approximate, total cost would include travel and hotel costs for the long weekend. The Master asked District Secretaries to publicise the plans, to report on apparent support, and to ascertain the approximate number of participants.

Any Other Business

(a) Cdr.Harris pointed out that Covenant Forms for the Guild Bell Restoration Fund were enclosed in the current Guild Report. Also an article explaining covenanting appeared on page 9. The Treasurer stated that 11 of these forms had been completed and returned so far. Mr.Haythorne stated that they lacked a space for a member’s account number.

(b) The Master complimented Cdr. Harris on the excellent standard of our 1983 Report.

The Master closed the meeting, with prayers, at 1620 hours.