ON 5th JULY 1986

The Annual General Meeting of the Winchester and Portsmouth Guild was held on Saturday 5th July 1986, in Trinity Church Hall, Basingstoke, following the Guild service, held in St. Michael’s church. The Guild Master, Mrs. Gilian Davis, occupied the chair, and was supported by the Hon. General Secretary, Mr.D.C.Jackson, and the Hon. General Treasurer, Mr.J.P.Colliss. After opening the meeting with prayers the Master reminded members that this would be her last, official duty as Guild Master, and she wished to thank all who had welcomed her into their belfries during her six years of office. She had travelled 13000 miles by car, sailed to the Isle of Wight, and flown to the Channel Islands. Her aim to ring in every tower of the Guild with resident members had been achieved in her first three years of office, and the local ringers she had met were the backbone and strength of this Guild. Mrs. Davis particularly wished to acknowledge the support she had received from her husband, from the Secretary, from the Treasurer, and from their wives.

A letter from a previous Guild Master, Mr. R.R.Savory, praising Gilian’s work for the Guild, was then read to the meeting. The 78 members present echoed these sentiments.

Apologies for absence

The Secretary had received apologies from:-

Mr.A.A.J.Buswell, Mr.L.Duguid, Mr.N.Allingham on behalf of the Barton Stacey band, Mr.R.C.Wilson, Mr.M.Bubb, Mr and Mrs Dunster, Mr.N.White, and Mr.M.Hilson.

Loss of members through death

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

Mr.F.Bessent (Life Member, Hambledon); Mrs.M.Croft (Southampton); Mrs.B.Dobson (Longparish); Mrs.M.Harris(East Meon); Father Maxwell-Ward (Sacred Heart, Bournemouth); Mr.W.J.Marlow (Overton); Mr.J.Rodwell (Hursley); Mr.R.Rex (Woolton Hill and Thatcham); Canon F.Sanders (Overton).


Minutes of the A.G.M. held at Highcliffe on 6th July 1985 had been duplicated by the Secretary and circulated with the agenda, apart from the item “Any Other Business”. The Secretary read out this short section. Mrs.B.Townsend proposed acceptance of these Minutes, this was seconded by Mr.T.Matcham, and carried, nem.con.

Matters arising

(a) The Secretary had handed copies of the Channel Island District dedication services to the Guild Librarian at the March Executive Meeting.

(b) The Secretary had written to Mr.B.Williams following the allocation of a grant of £500 from the Bell Restoration Fund for work on the bells at Hurstbourne Priors. No reply had been received and Andover district officers reported that there was no progress on the planned restoration.

(c) After the long discussion concerning performances at Liss Campanile, the Secretary had written the letter requested by the 1985 A.G.M. and this had appeared in “Ringing World”, issue 3882, page 800.

(d) Following the resolution concerning the peal of bells at St. Peter’s, Ruthin, the Secretary had written to Mr.Randolph-Ellis. In his reply Mr.Randolph-Ellis stated that the P.C.C. have ignored all advice and have applied for a Faculty to have the bells removed.


(a) Letters of thanks had been received from the following, newly-elected, Honorary Life Members:- Mr.F.Bessent; Mr.A.Betsworth; Mr.C.A.Pound.

The latter had written at length about the history of ringing at Ss.Peter and Paul, Hawkley, and the Secretary had handed this to Mr.Cater during the March Executive Meeting. Mr.Cater had promised to include this in the next Guild Newsletter.

(b) The Secretary of the Sussex County Association had written to exchange Guild Reports and to invite our Guild to participate in the 1986 Essex Trophy Striking Competition. This would be held at Horsham on 18th October. Mr.P.Hill proposed, and Mr.Le.Marechal seconded, that Mr.M.Hough be asked to form a team, following his success with a team of Liss Campanile Youths in the National 12-Bell Striking Competition. This was agreed, and Mr.Hough rose to accept this charter.

(c) The Secretary of the Salisbury Diocesan Guild had also written to exchange Guild Reports.

(d) Letters of thanks had been received from the following, concerning B.R.F. grants:-

(i) Both the ringers and the P.C.C. of St. Mary, Micheldever, following payment of the £500 grant.

(ii) Both the ringers and the P.C.C. of St.Mary, Eversley, following the payment of the £1000 grant.

(iii) Both the ringers and the P.C.C. of St. Peter’s, Goodworth Clatford, following the payment of the £500 grant.

(iv) The P.C.C. of St.Peter’s, Curdridge, following the payment of the £25 grant.

(v) The Rector of St.Leonard, Sherfield English, following the payment of the £25 grant.

(vi) The Chairman of the Soberton Church Restoration Appeal, following approval of a £500 grant.

(e) The Dean of Jersey replied to the Secretary, following his induction, accepting the position as Guild Vice-president.

(f) The Bishop of Portsmouth had despatched a Christmas Card to the Guild in December.

Hon. General Secretary’s Report

This is to be found on pages 3 to 5 in the 1985 Guild Report. This was accepted, on the proposition of Mr.J.J.Hill, seconded by Mrs.B.Townsend.

Hon. General Treasurer’s Report

This and the Guild accounts are printed on pages 5 to 7 in the 1985 Guild Report. These were accepted, on the proposition of Mr.A.P.Smith, seconded by Mr.R.Knight.

Acting on the statement made in his report, Mr.Colliss proposed that the following changes be made to Guild subscriptions:-

Ringing Member - Not less than £3
Associate Member - Not less than £3
Compounding Member - £3

This was seconded by Mr.F.E.Collins, and carried, nem.con. Mr.Smith pointed out that, applying rule 8, this change must take effect from midnight tonight.

Hon. Peal Recorder’s Report

This, the peal analysis, and details of the 89 tower bell and 9 handbell peals, appear between pages 35 and 46 in the 1985 Guild Report. Mr.Le.Marechal reported that, as expected, the Central Council had not accepted peal 7487, Real Stedman Minimus at St. Peter, Brimpton, Berkshire. This report was accepted on the proposition of Mr. H.Milford, seconded by Mrs.J.Kippin.

Hon. Librarian’s Report

This, and the library fund accounts are printed on page 12 of the 1985 Report. In the absence of the Guild Librarian Mr.Haythorne proposed adoption of this report, this was seconded by Mrs.B.Townsend, and carried, nem.con.

Bell Restoration Fund

Introducing the Trustees’ Report, and the balance sheet, on pages 8 and 9 of the Report, Mr.Colliss reported that we had raised £936-09 for the fund in 1986, and, after payment of grants this year, the fund totalled £9361-71 at the start of July. The report was accepted, on the proposition of Mr.R.Milford, seconded by Mr.A.T.Collins.

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

(a) Ss. Peter and Paul, Kings Somborne (6)

Tower and bell frame are in a dangerous condition. Rebuilding is essential before the bells can be rung again. Cost £12000 as part of the overall £30000 needed for the full restoration. Recommended grant £250.

(b) St. Michael and All Angels, Hinton Admiral (5)

A scheme to replace the plain bearings on the five bells, and then augment to six, has been initiated by the local ringers. The scheme will cost £6304 if carried out by Taylors. Recommended grant £600.

(c) St. Michael and All Angels, Highclere (8)

An inspection by Whitechapel indicated that considerable work was needed on the framework, on the beams supporting the frame, and on the fabric damaged by the vibrating frame. This, together with new pulleys, ropes, clapper bearings and general overhaul will cost £6179. The ringers have initiated fund raising and will devote their Summer holiday to providing a work force. Recommended grant £600.

Mr.C.H.Kippin spoke vehemently against the allocation of grants towards masonry repairs, but Mr.Collins pointed out that grants for this purpose are specified in B.R.F. rule 3. Mr.Collins proposed the grants as specified, and this was seconded by Mr.M.Hough. However, to mollify Mr.Kippin’s anxiety, each recommendation was put separately to the vote:-

Highclere. Carried, nem.con.
Hinton. Carried, nem. con.
Kings Somborne. Carried by a large majority against 3.

The Master commended Mr. Collins for his work on behalf of our Bell Restoration Fund, as described in the Secretary’s report. She was sure that more Guild members had benefited from his efforts than any other officers, and Mr. Collins was applauded following his last duty as a Trustee.

Mr.P.Gallienne addressed the meeting on behalf of the Channel Island District members. At the Dinner, organised as part of the 1986 Guild Festival, the Dean of Guernsey had announced that, next time this event was organised, there would be another ring of 8 bells available. Mr. Gallienne was responsible for the eight bells, now, alas, a chime, in the town church of St. Peter Port, and he had prepared a report for the Dean, Churchwardens, and Constables, outlining how to recast and rehang the bells for full-circle ringing. He had consulted Whitechapel while preparing his report, and he now offered copies to anyone interested. He then presented a cheque to the Guild Treasurer, the £320-43 he said, being the profits made on the sale of Guernseys during the Festival, which they wished to present to the Bell Restoration Fund.

Guild Public Relations Officer

Mr. Cater’s report appears on page 12 of the Guild Report. This was accepted, on the proposition of Mr.D.Chapman, seconded by Mr.Le.Marechal. The Secretary stated that he had received details concerning a Central Council P.R.O. conference for 29th March 1986. Our Guild P.R.O. was unable to attend, but Miss.J.W.Reed was prepared to deputize. The Executive Committee had authorised that Miss Reed’s expenses be covered, and he had communicated with her to this effect. Miss Reed gave a resume of the conference, and offered members copies of six different information cards supplied free by the C.C.

Education sub-committee

Mr.H.L.Hatfield stated that his report, on page 10 of the Guild Report, had been composed by the outgoing convenor of this sub-committee. Referring to page 2, he pointed out that Mr. Esbester was no longer a member of the sub-committee, and that Mr. Wilson had resigned. Mr.B. Woodruffe had agreed to be co-opted. The report was accepted, on the proposition of Miss. J.W. Reed, seconded by Mr. H. Milford.

Mr.Hatfield stated that there were many late entries for the Guild Ringing School this year. They would accept everyone who applies by the closing date, but reject all late applicants. Mr.Waldron stated that application forms are sometimes delivered by the District Secretary only seven days before the closing date. Mr.Hatfield expressed surprise since District Secretaries were supplied with the application forms before their A.D.Ms. in January.

Striking Competitions sub-committee

Mr.A.T.Collins introduced his report on page 11 of the 1985 Report. He stated that the 1987 8-Bell and Inter-District Competitions would take place on 16th May, and the 6-Bell Competition on 27th June. The report was accepted on the proposition of Mr.H.L.Hatfield, seconded by Mr.G.C.Emerson. Mrs.B.Townsend asked the sub-committee to consider changing the time for the Inter-District draw. Some teams had a very long wait with the present arrangements.

Social sub-committee

Mrs.E.Chapman commented upon her report on page 9 of the Guild Report. The Barn Dance, mentioned therein, had been arranged for 4th October, and she distributed posters for this to district representatives. She also announced that the 1987 Dinner had been booked in the Guildhall at Winchester for 25th April. The report was accepted, on the proposition of Mr.A.P.Smith, seconded by Mr.A.Barsby.

1985 Guild Report

Cdr.W.A.Harris stated that, after six years as Report Editor, he was not wishing to stand for re-election, and would shortly be moving to start a new job in another part of the U.K. During his time as editor he had attempted to reduce the duplication of information, encourage contributors to improve the standard of their items, and add items of general interest. Since half of each member’s subscription is utilised for the production of the Report, he hoped that members would encourage the new editor by writing and expressing their thoughts.

The Master thanked Cdr. Harris for his efforts over the past six years, and complimented him on his enthusiasm and diligence.

Mr.Mackrell commented that some towers in the Alton and Petersfield District had not yet received their 1985 Report. The editor stated that he personally had driven to Exeter on 16th May to collect copies from the printer and distribute them to District Secretaries during the Inter-District Striking Competition on 17th May. He was unable to explain why reports has not been distributed to members by 5th July. The District Secretary in question was not present to provide an explanation.

Mr. Outram Haythorne commented that costs could be reduced by photocopying peals from “The Ringing World”, as was the practice by the London County Association. The editor replied that this would save £20 and provide a record of peals inferior in quality.

Letters had been received from Mr.A.A.J.Buswell. The first concerned the Secretary’s report on pages 3 to 5 of the 1985 Report relating to quarter-peal analysis. Mr. Buswell wished to clarify that he was still maintaining his private, computer based records, and these are available to anyone with a query. The second letter concerns a suggestion for improvement in the layout of our Guild Report, incorporating all tower locations, numbers of bells, practice nights, Sunday ringing times etc. Mr. Buswell enclosed a computer printout of this information, which could be used as an insert into the current Report layout. The Master at this point ruled that Mr. Buswell’s suggestion should be discussed by the new Guild Officers at the November Executive Meeting.

Mr. Esbester rose to thank Cdr. Harris on behalf of all Guild members, and extensive applause echoed his sentiments.

Items relevant to the Guild arising from the 1986 Central Council Meeting

Mr. Cater presented a summary of the fairly short meeting at Reigate in May.

(a) The Education Committee terminated the pilot scheme concerning Graded Ringing Assessments. The Winchester and Portsmouth were now the only Guild utilising it, and our Guild Master addressed the Council commending it to them.

(b) The Methods Committee had introduced revolutionary changes Decisions (D)B, specifying conditions required for peals on different numbers of bells. (See “Ringing World”, issue 3913, page 371) Mr.A.P.Smith, the proposer of the motion at the C.C., explained that, since the adoption of these changes that the 9 bells of All Saints, Basingstoke are no longer a special case, and that all peal ringing on odd numbers of bells is now acceptable. It has taken the Guild’s representatives 40 years to achieve recognition of such peals, after the first 5021 Grandsire Caters, conducted at Basingstoke by C.H.Kippin on Saturday 16th February 1946.

Mr.Esbester queried our use of the Ringing Assessment Scheme, and the use of C.C. certificates. Mr.Hatfield stated that he would raise the matter with the Guild Executive, ensuring that the scheme be established as a Guild activity with suitable certificates. Mrs.B.Townsend stated that Andover district made considerable use of the scheme.

1986 Guild Festival

Cdr.W.A.Harris spoke with great passion of the success of the 1986 Festival, based in Guernsey from 29th May to 1st June. Everyone appeared to have a marvellous time, and it was noticeable how well the event had united Guild members. On behalf of the membership he thanked the Guild Master for evolving the idea for the festival, the C.I.D. Secretary, Mr.M.R.Hilson, for making all the arrangements, and for members of the Channel Islands District who were involved in some way with the arrangements. These remarks were greeted with applause.

Elections of Officers for the Trienniel Period 1986 - 1989

(a) Guild Master

Rev.B.J.Fry was proposed by Mr.C.H.Kippin and seconded by Mr.B.F.Peachey. Mr.Kippin also criticised the Executive Committee for failing to offer a choice of candidates for this office. Mrs.Davis announced the election of Rev.Fry as Master, and presented him with the Master’s badge of office. Rev.Fry asked Mrs.Davis to remain in the chair for the final part of the meeting.

(b) Hon. General Secretary

Mr.D.C.Jackson was proposed by Mr.F.E.Collins and seconded by Mrs.E.Chapman. He was declared elected.

(c) Hon. General Treasurer

Mr.M.Bubb was proposed, in his absence, by Mr.P.H.Gallienne, and seconded by Mrs. J.M.Kippin. Mrs.Davis explained Mr.Bubb’s absence, due to family commitments, then declared him elected.

Mr.A.P.Smith, on behalf of Guild members, thanked the retiring treasurer, Mr.J.P. Colliss, for nine years of excellence and care. This was greeted with applause.

(d) Hon. Peal Recorder

Mr.R.Le.Marechal was proposed by Mr.M.Hough, and seconded by Mr.A.P.Smith. Mr. Hough spoke fervently of Mr.Le.Marechal’s qualities, after which Mrs. Davis declared him elected.

(e) Hon. Report Editor

Mr.S.Dunster was proposed by Cdr.W.A.Harris, and seconded by Mr.R.Milford. Mrs. Davis declared him elected. Mrs.J.M.Kippin then spoke warmly of the diligence and enthusiasm shown by the retiring editor, Cdr.W.A.Harris. This was followed by applause.

(f) Hon. Librarian

Mr.N.M.White was proposed, in his absence, by Mrs.E.Chapman, and seconded by Mr.W.O. Haythorne. Mrs.Davis declared him elected.

(g) Guild Public Relations Officer

Miss.J.W.Reed was proposed by Mr.Cater and seconded by Mrs.E.Johnson. Mrs. Davis declared Miss Reed elected.

(h) Trustee of the Bell Restoration Fund

(i) Winchester Diocese. Mr.M.K.Waldron was proposed by Mr.F.E.Collins and seconded by Mr.C.H.Kippin.

(ii) Portsmouth Diocese. Mr.R.M.Esbester was proposed by Mr.F.E.Collins and seconded by Mr.A.Case.

Mrs.Davis declared both gentlemen elected.

(j) Four representatives to the Central Council

Mrs.Davis commented that the Guild had been well served by its representatives over the past six years, but it was now necessary for her to relinquish this commitment, and she did not wish to be nominated. Mr. C.H.Kippin proposed the nomination of Messrs. Cater, Jackson and Smith. He then also proposed Mr.B.F.Peachey. Mr.H.Milford seconded. Mr.Peachey stated that he was already a representative for the Police Guild and did not wish to be nominated this time. However he pointed out that two of the nominees were chairmen of sub-committees and would automatically be elected to Honorary Membership were they no longer Guild representatives. He asked that Mr.Kippin withdraw their names from his proposal and provide the opportunity to initiate “new blood”. Mr.A.P.Smith challenged the accuracy of Mr.Peachey’s statement, and pointed out that, if Mr.Cater and himself were Honorary Members they would not be obligated to support the views of this Guild, whether contentious or otherwise.

Rev.B.J.Fry was proposed by Mr.H.Milford, and seconded by Mr.J.J.Hill. Mr.A.T.Collins was proposed by Mr.D.C.Jackson and seconded by Cdr.W.A.Harris.

Mrs.Davis asked for a written ballot, and requested Miss C.Parker to act as scrutineer. At a later point in the meeting Mrs. Davis announced the election of Messrs. Cater, Collins, Jackson and Smith.

Appointment of Hon. Auditor

Mr.C.H.Kippin was proposed by Mr.M.K.Waldron and seconded by Mr.F.E.Collins. Mrs. Davis declared him elected.

1987 Annual General Meeting

By rule this should take place in the Isle of Wight, and by tradition should be held on Saturday 4th July 1987. Mrs.J.R.Ladd, the District Secretary, stated that arrangements would be in order, and that their Annual District Meeting would discuss plans for this event.

Any Other Business.

(a) Mr.M.K.Waldron wished to compliment the Liss Campanile Youths on achieving second place in the National 12-Bell Striking Competition, with the College Youths achieving first place by only one point.

(b) Mr.A.Barsby stated that he had produced a booklet to commemorate the augmentation of Eversley bells from 2 to 6, and copies were available, price 30p. He presented a copy to the Guild Library.

(c) Mrs.B.Townsend announced that Goodworth Clatford bells had been augmented from 6 to 8, and the dedication would be held on Saturday 21st June.

(d) Mrs.J.M.Kippin wished to discourage towers from leaving their bells in the raised position. In addition she asked that bands acquire a Central Council poster warning the unwary against touching ropes. She stressed that young children do not understand such dangers and ignore warning signs roughly chalked on boards.

(e) The new Guild Public Relations Officer requested that details of all district activities be sent to her for inclusion in the Guild Newsletter, and specifically requested information relating to the forthcoming Royal Wedding.

(f) Mrs.Davis informed the meeting that the Duchess of Gloucester had visited Christchurch Priory during their celebrations and had talked to Arthur at length about the ringing taking place in the tower.

(g) The Guild Secretary stated that a large card would be sent to Buckingham Palace to mark the wedding of Prince Andrew and Miss Sarah Ferguson of Dummer. He invited all members to sign it.

(h) Mr.F.E.Collins recalled all eight Guild Masters serving in his lifetime, starting with Rev.C.Matthews. Mrs.Gilian Davis was the most outstanding of all these. Members combined in a standing ovation as Mrs. Davis closed the meeting at 1750.