1. Opening Prayer and Master's Welcome

    The Master, Rev B J Fry, supported by the Honorary General Secretary, D C Jackson, the Honorary General Treasurer, M Bubb, and the Minute Secretary, A F Case, opened the meeting at 3.05 with a prayer.

    Geoff Dodd, the Chairman of the Andover District then addressed the meeting welcoming the Guild on behalf of the Andover District.

    The Master welcomed the 75 members present and congratulated Joyce Reed and John Croft on their engagement.

  2. Apologies for Absence

    Apologies were received from:-
    A Hoar, B Peachey, Mrs K & P Matthews, A Craddock, Mrs R Lee, J Croft, M Waldron, L Duguid, M Powell, Mrs O & F ColIins, Mrs R & S Noyes, B Downer, The Waller family, P Belgeonne, the bands of Abbotts Ann, Southampton City, Fawley, Hordle, and Twyford, the Education sub committee, Mrs R & A Carton, and M Heywood.

  3. Loss of Members through death

    The meeting stood in silence to respect the following deceased members:-
    Reg Crook (Andover District), Clive Chennel-White (Alton), Albert Marriner (Buriton), Mrs Nellie Holt (Preston Candover), Trevor Matcham (Eling), Dan Matkin LM (Bournemouth - former Peal Recorder).

  4. Minutes of the 1989 AGM

    Minutes of the 1989 AGM held at Southampton had been circulated in 1989. The minutes were approved on the proposition of R Milford, seconded by M Thomas.

  5. Matters Arising

    1. R LeMarechal reported that a Guild team had entered the Essex Trophy striking competition at Ashford, but had not won the trophy. R LeMarechal would be arranging for a Guild team to enter the 1990 competition to be held at Guildford in September.

    2. Mrs H Peachey had Guild sweatshirts and jumpers available for sale at the meeting, and handed the Treasurer a cheque for the first £100 profit from sales. The Master thanked Mrs Peachey for her fund-raising efforts.

    3. O Haythorne asked whether there had been any progress as to his suggestion of appointing assistants to the principal officers (minute 18g/89). The Master replied that no further thought had been given to this suggestion, but asked that members should let the officers know their views on the matter.

  6. Relevant correspondence

    1. The Dean of Guernsey (The Very Reverend J R Fenwick), and the Archdeacon of the Isle of Wight (The Venerable Tony Turner) had written accepting Vice Presidency of the Guild.

    2. R Cater had written to encourage the Guild to sponsor students to attend the 1990 Central Council Ringing School to be held at Moulton, Northants. The Executive Committee had felt the question of sponsorship to be more appropriate for districts to consider, as in previous years.

  7. Honorary Life Members

    George Dowling of Goodworth Clatford completed 50 years membership of the Guild during 1989 and therefore became a Life Member in accordance with rule 6b. The meeting congratulated G Dowling on his election to Life Membership.

    On behalf of the Executive Committee, the Master then proposed the election of Geoff Dodd to Life Membership of the Guild in recognition of his service both, to the Guild and also to ringing in general. This was carried unanimously with acclamation.

    Also on behalf of the Executive Committee, the Secretary proposed the election to Life Membership of Canon K W H Felstead, a past Master of the Guild. This was seconded by A P Smith, referring to Canon Felstead's work for the Exercise in general, and carried nem con.

  8. Treasurer's Report and Accounts

    Adoption of the report and accounts, printed in the Annual Report, was proposed by the Master and carried nem con. The Master expressed thanks on behalf of the Guild to M Bubb and also to C Kippin for his work as Auditor.

  9. Guild Officers Reports

    M Church queried the final paragraph of the Secretary's report on page 5 of the Annual Report. The Secretary agreed that in the sixth line of that final paragraph, the words "one-third" should read "two-thirds", but advised that the other conclusions had been reproduced from a report in the Ringing World. The Master proposed that, subject to the amendment above, the reports be adopted as printed in the Annual Report. This was carried nem con.

  10. Bell Restoration Fund

    R Green commented on the increase in covenant income, but felt that an average covenant of 35 pence per member was extremely feeble. The Master suggested that all tax-paying members should consider whether they could enter into a covenant in favour of the Bell Restoration Fund. Adoption of the Report and Accounts, as printed in the Annual Report, was proposed by Mrs G Davis, seconded by J Colliss, and carried nem con.

    On behalf of the Trustees, M Esbester outlined the requests for grants received and the recommended grants as follows:

    1. Barton Stacey. General overhaul including frame costing £1055. Proposed grant £150.

    2. Bramley. Work had been completed and paid for and the grant application had been withdrawn.

    3. New Alresford. Work to the stonework of the tower costing between £15000 and £20000. Proposed grant £500.

    4. Shedfield. General overhaul of clappers and pulleys etc costing £938.50. Proposed grant £150.

    5. Twyford. General overhaul of clappers and bearings costing £660. Proposed grant £100.

    6. Whitchurch. 5th and 6th bells require new fittings at a cost of £4129.65. Proposed grant £500.

    7. Wickham. General overhaul to clappers and frame costing £772. Proposed grant £100.

    D Forder asked whether an application for grant had been received from Mottisfont for work including replacing the 4th, retuning and rehanging at a total cost of £13640. The Secretary advised that an application had been received too late to be considered at the AGM. Following a discussion, it was finally proposed by the Treasurer that a loan be granted from the reserve fund at a figure to be recommended by the Trustees of the BRF and put to the next AGM as a proposed grant from the BRF. This was seconded by M Thomas and carried nem con. Mrs Davis commented that this matter should be regarded as an isolated case, not setting a precedent for future late applications.

    The Master proposed that the grants recommended by the Trustees be approved and this was carried nem con.

  11. Subscriptions and Fees

    The Executive Committee proposed that peal fees be increased to 50p per rope with the proportion of the fees to be transferred to the Bell Restoration and General Funds being equal. This proposal was carried and would come into effect on 1 January 1991.

  12. Fund Raising for Bell Restoration Fund

    M Esbester advised that it was proposed to establish a "100 Club" in aid of the BRF. Membership of the Club would probably cost £12 and the initial suggestion was to have four draws during the year; at the AGM, two at striking competitions, and one at the Guild Dinner. Assuming 100 people joined the Club then, at the AGM, it was proposed the prizes should be £100, £50, and 2 x £25. At the striking competitions, the prizes might be 5 x £25, and at the Dinner £50 and 4 x £25. M Esbester offered to run the Club himself initially, and proposed to run it as a private lottery. It was suggested that more prizes of smaller amounts should be included to increase members' chances of winning. A show of hands indicated that there would be support for such a lottery, and the Master proposed that the Guild agree in principle to the establishment of a "100 Club". This was carried nem con. The Secretary then proposed that M Esbester be encouraged to organize the "100 Club". This was seconded by R Cater and carried nem con. M Esbester advised the Club was likely to start in February 1991.

  13. Guild Library

    On behalf of Mrs K Matthews, R Allen advised that quotations of £425 and £495 had been obtained for fireproof cabinets in which to store valuable library books. A new inventory of the library contents was in the course of preparation and, until this was complete, it was not clear whether there were any sufficiently valuable items to justify the purchase of a fireproof cabinet.

    O Haythorne asked whether the Guild still subscribed to the Friends of the Central Council Library. The Treasurer agreed to ensure that a subscription was paid.

  14. Striking Competitions

    J Colliss advised that the sub committee were considering arranging a twelve bell inter district striking competition to take place every two years, alternating with the ten bell competition.

  15. Suggestions for Improving the Annual General Meeting

    The Master advised that the Executive Committee hoped to reconsider this matter once further views had been obtained from districts.

  16. Change of Rule 14

    The Andover District, supported by the Executive Committee, proposed that Rule 14 should begin:

    "Each District Treasurer shall receive ALL subscriptions of members in his District, …". The proposed change of rule was carried nem con.

  17. Change of Rule 12

    Associated with the change to Rule 14, the Andover District, again supported by the Executive Committee, proposed that Rule 12 be amended to include the post of District Treasurer in the list of District Officers to be elected. This proposal was carried nem con.

  18. Change of Rules 4 and 5

    The Secretary advised the meeting that in November 1989 the Executive Committee had co-opted A Case as Minute Secretary. The Executive Committee now proposed that the post of Minute Secretary be added to the list of Officers in Rules 4 and 5. This proposal was carried nem con.

  19. Correction of Errors and Misprints in Guild Rules

    It was proposed by A P Smith, seconded by R M Esbester, that the following corrections be made to the Guild Rules (amended wording in underlined italics):

    Rule 4 "sub-committees or co-opted members …"

    Rule 13 remove the words "to delete defaulters"

    Rule 16 "Districts are requested to compile a list of instructors who are willing to assist towers (Rule 14)"

    Rule 10 "… for transfer to the District Treasurer".

    The changes to Rules 4, 13, and 16 set out above were approved nem con.

    Mrs B Townsend queried the proposed change to Rule 10 and, following a discussion, Mrs R Jackson proposed an amendment to the proposal so that the amended rule would read as follows:

    "Each tower in the Guild shall appoint a local secretary, who will be responsible for conducting such correspondence as required, rendering an annual report to the District Secretary and collecting subscriptions from Guild members for transfer to the District Treasurer."

    A P Smith agreed to accept this amendment to his original proposal. The amended proposal was carried nem con.

  20. Change of Rule 13

    It was proposed by A P Smith, seconded by M Waldron, that the following words be added to Rule 13:

    "Only members of a District may vote in the election of that District's officers."

    R Green proposed, as an amendment:

    "Only members of a District may vote in the business of that District."

    This was seconded by W O Haythorne. A discussion followed during which the Secretary proposed next business. This was seconded by the Treasurer, but was lost on being put to the vote. The amendment was then carried nem con, became the substantive motion and was carried by a majority.

  21. Items relevant to the Guild arising from the 1990 Central Council Meeting

    A T Collins reported that the meeting had considered potential projects for 1991, the Council's centenary. The mobile exhibition with bells had been rejected on grounds of cost and a working party had been appointed to consider the establishment of a Ringing Centre with paid full- or part-time staff. There was to be a service at St Pauls Cathedral during the four day meeting and an eight-bell striking contest at St Lawrence Jewry.

    The Central Council Librarian had made a request for copies of all Guild reports and newsletters to be forwarded for the use of future researchers. The Librarian's address was to be found in the Ringing World diary.

    There was a discussion at Council as to the involvement of English Heritage in restoration projects. English Heritage requires a form of contract to be entered into by any church to which money is given for a project. The wording of this contract has given cause for concern on some occasions, and A T Collins advised that Central Council representatives could obtain a revised form of wording to that normally used by English Heritage if any member required this.

    Concern was expressed at the Council meeting regarding access being gained to unringable towers by unauthorized visitors. The possibility of prosecution in such cases was being considered.

    Finally, A T Collins advised that although he had failed to be re-elected to the Central Council Biographies Committee, A P Smith had been re-elected to the Methods Committee and R Cater had been re-elected to the Education Committee.

    A P Smith suggested A T Collins report might be published in the Guild newsletter for the benefit of members not present at the meeting. A discussion then followed regarding the ringing centre and the mobile exhibition. A show of hands indicated that approximately 90% of those present would support a mobile exhibition with a ring of bells. There was minimal support for a ringing centre.

    The Secretary then reported on the Central Council open meeting at which the National Survey of Ringing had been considered. Four speakers had put forward their summaries of the findings of the survey suggesting amongst other things that:

    Many ringing places are not welcoming and do not provide a warm social environment; Ringers undervalue themselves; We should pay more for our weekly ringing; Present methods of recruitment are generally ineffective and wasteful; Many tower captains are not effective leaders; Less than 50% think district events are satisfactory.

  22. 1991 Annual General Meeting

    The meeting would be held on Saturday 6 July 1991 in the Portsmouth District.

  23. Any Other Business

    1. A P Smith advised that M Waldron was shortly moving house and wished to dispose of a set of "The Ringing World" from 1970 to date. Interested persons were advised to contact M Waldron as soon as possible.

    2. Mrs M Aylieff reminded members that the 1990 Guild Barn Dance was to be held on Saturday 29 September at Twyford Parish Hall with the band Owd Roger.

    3. Miss J Reed advised members there would be no Autumn newsletter in 1990, but she planned to produce a bumper edition for early 1991.

    4. W Harris reported that the "Hell's Bells" event at East Meon had raised £6000 towards rehanging the bells, and the bells were shortly to be removed from the tower. An auction was to be held on 3 November with a professional auctioneer. It had been found that a "buy a part" campaign had been a successful way to raise money.

    5. D Holmes asked whether there was a need for him to produce a third Guild calendar. The Master encouraged the production of a Calendar for 1991 and thanked D Holmes for his efforts to date.

    6. The meeting was advised that the Winchester district would be arranging an open day on 22 September 1990.

    7. Mrs H Peachey expressed thanks to Mrs S Craddock and her helpers who had been running a creche for young children during the meeting.

    8. The Master expressed thanks to Mrs B Townsend and her helpers for the tea and for making the arrangements for the AGM.

    There being no further business the Master closed the meeting with prayers at 5.33 pm.