1. Opening Prayer and Welcome

    The Master, Rev Barry Fry, supported by the Honorary General Secretary, Robert Cater, the Honorary General Treasurer, Michael Bubb, and the Minute Secretary, Andrew Case, opened the meeting at 4.26 with a prayer. The Master expressed thanks to Alan Hoar for his address during the service, the Rector of St Michael's for taking the service, and the organist and choir.

  2. Apologies for Absence

    Apologies were received from:-
    Gilian Davis, Andrew Palk, The Waller family, Les Duguid, Brian Oakes, Blanche and John Hunt, Richard Harrison, Andrew Johnson, Patrick and Kim Matthews, Ivor Trueman, Mike Haywood, Rita and Andrew Carton, Roderick Boucher, Robin and Harold Milford, Bill Poulter and the band from Greywell, Martin Waldron, Peter and Julia Clark, Margaret Thomas, and Ann LeMarechal.

  3. Loss of Members through death

    The meeting stood in silence to respect the following deceased members:-
    Charles A Pound (Life Member) Hawkley.
    Bill Fallaize (Life Member) Vale, Guernsey.
    Canon K W H Felstead, Past Master (1962-1968) and Life Member.
    Arthur E Hoodless, Portsmouth Cathedral and Portsea.
    Peter Taylor, The Clatfords.
    F E (Ted) Collins (Life Member) Ringwood.
    Mrs Betty Wardle (Associate Member) Alton & Petersfield District.

    The Secretary advised that the family had requested no flowers for the funeral of Ted Collins, but that donations be made to the Guild BRF. £123 had been received.

  4. Minutes of the 1993 AGM

    Minutes of the 1993 AGM held at Bournemouth, had been circulated by Christine McCallion in 1993. Derek Jackson asked that one sentence should be deleted from the report of the Central Council meeting. Subject to that alteration, the minutes were approved on the Master's proposition.

  5. Matters Arising

    Derek Jackson advised the meeting that because of ill health at the time of the 1993 Central Council meeting, he had not felt able to take on any committee roles. He had, however, retired from work in July 1993 and was now enjoying better health.

  6. Honorary Life Members

    Bert Burbidge of Portsea had completed 50 years membership of the Guild and accordingly became a Life Member.

  7. Officers' and Committees' Reports for 1993

    These reports were all printed in the Guild Report. Adoption of the reports en bloc was proposed by Tony Smith, seconded by Mark Esbester and carried nem con.

  8. Accounts for 1993

    The accounts were as printed in the Guild Report. The Treasurer advised that the accounts had been audited and that they were distorted by the donation for the upgrade of the simulator. Michael Thomas proposed that the accounts be adopted. This was seconded by Andrew Craddock and carried nem con.

    The Master thanked the officers and members of committees for all their efforts on behalf of the Guild

  9. Report on the 1994 Central Council Meeting

    Tony Smith reported on this meeting which had been held at Stafford. The various Committee Reports had been published in the Ringing World in April in advance of the meeting, and the official report of the meeting was published in RW 4340 (July 1 1994). Consequently Tony had little to report save that all four of the Guild's representatives were present and that the Council was planning two events as follows:-

    In Birmingham on 19 November 1994, the Education Committee will be arranging a conference.

    The Towers and Belfries Committee is planning a seminar on the Code of Practice for the Conservation of Bells and Bellframes to be held on 8 October 1994.

    The Secretary proposed that the Guild should sponsor one member to go to each meeting by paying their reasonable travelling expenses. This was supported by the Master and agreed.

    Mark Esbester initiated a discussion regarding the voting by the Guild's representatives on the issue of the application of the Dorset County Association to affiliate to the Council. Derek Jackson pointed out that the Guild had not come to any clear decision about the matter (Executive Committee minute 6f/11/93).

  10. Bell Restoration Fund - Grants

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

    1. Breamore. A lot of work was required to this wooden tower and the bells. The proportion of the cost of the work which it was felt would be necessary to keep the bells in action was £3900. The Trustees proposed a grant of £400.

    2. Kings Worthy. To rehang the existing 4 bells in the present frame with new fittings would cost £11,400. The grant proposed for this work was £1100. There was a possibility that a fifth bell might be added at an additional cost of £5690. For this the proposed additional grant was £600.

    3. Kingsclere. The 8 bells to be rehung and the tenor recast, rope circle to be adjusted and new fittings to be installed. The cost was £22,000 and the proposed grant £2200.

    4. Upton Grey. The timbers supporting the bellframe and an intermediate floor needed repair. The cost was estimated to be at least £9500. The proposed grant was £950.

    5. Ryde. The bells were being rehung with various new fittings at a cost of £7,700. The proposed grant was £750.

    In response to a question, the Master advised that the total of grants recommended was £6000 and the total income to the BRF in 1993 was £4082. A balance of £2000 would be left in the BRF if all these grants were paid before further monies had been raised.

    At this point in the meeting, Mark Esbester encouraged taxpaying Guild members to consider covenanting their donations to the BRF. Out of a total membership of 951 (excluding juniors) it might be assumed that two-thirds were taxpayers. If these 634 members each covenanted £2 per month each, then the annual income to the BRF would be over £15,000 with a further amount of around £5000 from the Inland Revenue in tax refunds. In response to a question, the Treasurer advised that at present only 10 members have covenants in favour of the BRF.

    The Master then put the Trustees recommendations to the meeting and these were carried nem con.

  11. Election of Education Sub-Committee for 1994-7

    The Secretary advised that he had received the following nominations:-

    Gail CaterProposed by Elizabeth JohnsonSeconded by John Colliss
    Andrew PalkProposed by Ivor TruemanSeconded by Elizabeth Johnson

    The following were nominated at the meeting:-

    Graham HedgesProposed by Alan HoarSeconded by David Savill
    Phil WattsProposed by Elizabeth JohnsonSeconded by John Colliss

    All those nominated were elected nem con.

  12. Election of Striking Competitions Sub-Committee

    The following were proposed:-

    John CollissProposed by Roy LeMarechalSeconded by Richard Green
    Martin HoughProposed by Mark EsbesterSeconded by Phil Watts
    Derek JacksonProposed by Barbara TownsendSeconded by John Colliss
    Michael ChurchProposed by Bob CaterSeconded by Chris Kippin

    All those nominated were elected nem con.

  13. Election of New Sub-Committee "Guild Belfry Stewardship Committee"

    The Secretary had received the following nominations:-
    Barry Downer
    Phil Watts
    Ken Waller

    At the meeting the following were also nominated:-

    Hugh RouthProposed by Bob CaterSeconded by Tony Smith
    John NundyProposed by Mark EsbesterSeconded by Michael Bubb

    All those nominated were elected nem con.

  14. Election of New Sub-Committee "Guild BRF Committee"

    The Secretary had received the following nominations
    June Mitchell
    Richard Harrison
    Roderick Boucher

    The Master proposed Bob Cater, who agreed to stand, but only for one year.

    All those nominated were elected, nem con.

  15. Changes to Guild Rules 8, 14, and 15 re BRF Monies

    Tony Smith proposed these changes of rule on behalf of the Executive Committee.

    John Croft addressed the meeting regarding concerns which he and Joyce had about the administration of the BRF, suggesting that perhaps more thought should be given to how grants are allocated and to long term budgeting. They suggested that it might not always be appropriate to give grants of 8-10% of the cost of projects. John Croft felt that the Belfry Stewardship Committee should help identify what we will need to spend in the future.

    Mark Esbester proposed the addition of the word "remaining" before "thirty per cent" in Rule 15. This was accepted as part of the proposal together with a typographical amendment to replace the word "disperse" with "disburse" in Rule 15. On being put to the vote, the proposed changes were accepted by a majority. The new wording of these rules is as follows (inserted words are underlined):-


    Subscriptions fall due upon election and subsequently upon 1st January each year. A member who fails to pay his subscription for the current year by 31st December shall be deemed to have withdrawn from the Guild. A proportion of each subscription shall be allocated to the Guild Bell Restoration Fund.

    The amount of the subscription and proportion allocated to the Guild Bell Restoration Fund for each class of membership shall be determined from time to time at the Annual General Meeting of the Guild, or at a Special General Meeting called for the purpose, and published in the Guild's annual report. Junior members and ringing members over the age of 60 may pay a reduced subscription as determined at the meeting. Life members are not required to pay a subscription.

    A member leaving the two diocese may transfer to compounding membership without further payment on application to their District Secretary.

    Any increase in subscription or alteration in the proportion allocated to the Guild Bell Restoration Fund shall take effect immediately following the meeting at which it was made.


    Each District Treasurer shall receive ALL subscriptions of members in his District, pay from the funds all the expenses of the District, and at the end of the year prepare a balance sheet which shall be audited and, after presentation to the Annual District Meeting, forwarded to the Honorary Treasurer of the Guild not later than 28th February, together with the proportion of the subscriptions due to the Central Fund and Guild Bell Restoration Fund (Rule 15).

    District funds may only be expended for administration and for such purposes as are sanctioned by these rules or by a General Meeting of the District concerned. First charge on District funds after administration shall be for instruction (whenever possible) in change ringing. If District funds prove insufficient for this charge, the deficiency may be met in whole or part by a contribution from the Central Fund. The instructor(s) may claim travelling expenses and any other out of pocket expenses.


    Seventy per cent (fifty per cent from the Channel Islands District) of all subscriptions, excluding the proportion allocated to the Guild Bell Restoration Fund, shall be allocated to a Central Fund for the general administration and expenses of the Guild and for any other purpose that the members in General Meeting may direct. The Honorary Treasurer shall receive, not later than 28th February, all monies due to the Central Fund and Guild Bell Restoration Fund and shall be empowered to disburse all accounts properly incurred in the central administration of the Guild, either in cash payments or by cheques drawn on the Guild current banking account, which cheques he shall be authorised to draw. He shall maintain a statement of central accounts. The remaining thirty per cent of subscriptions, excluding the proportion allocated to the Guild Bell Restoration Fund, shall be retained by the Districts, except in the case of the Channel Islands District where fifty per cent is retained, for the purposes of meeting expenses of the Districts incurred under these rules. If there be any deficiency in the Central Fund, the Annual General Meeting of the Guild may, by resolution, require the Districts to meet the deficiency in proportion to the amount of each District's receipts retained that year.

    At any time during the year the Executive Committee may, if necessary, direct the District Treasurers to pay over to the Central Fund all, or part of, the proportion of subscriptions actually received and due to the fund.

  16. Increase in Subscriptions and Establishment of Proportion Allocated to the Bell Restoration Fund

    On behalf of the Executive Committee, Tony Smith proposed that:-

    All subscriptions shall be increased by £2.00

    £1.50 of each subscription shall be allocated to the Guild Bell Restoration Fund

    Some members felt that the increase proposed for Junior members was too large, Ian Holdsworth proposed, as an amendment, that the increase for Juniors should be £1 and £2 for other members, with 75p of the Junior subscription being for the BRF (£1.50 for all other subscriptions). This was seconded by Richard Green, but on being put to the vote, the amendment was lost. The original proposal was then carried nem con.

    Tony Smith pointed out that although the increase in subscriptions took place immediately following the meeting, the change of Rules did not come into effect until 1 January 1995. The AGM and Districts could however choose to allocate subscriptions as though the Rule changes had come into immediate effect. The AGM agreed to act in this way and Districts were also asked to act as if the Rule changes had come into immediate effect.

  17. Open Days.

    It was proposed by Outram Haythorne that the Guild arranges an open day in each of the mainland Districts in rotation for the benefit of the BRF. This proposal was seconded by Betty Daysh and generally supported by the meeting. On the Master's proposition it was agreed that the matter would be left for the Guild BRF Committee to consider.

    Charles Seamons advised that there would be an open day in the Alton and Petersfield District on 17 September in aid of Froyle.

  18. Future Events

    Essex Shield Striking Competition - 17 September. The band of St Mary's, Southampton would be representing the Guild.

    Guild 10 bell Striking Competition - 10 September at East Meon. John Colliss had entry forms for District Secretaries.

    Channel Islands Ringing Festival. John David from Vale, Guernsey advised that the Festival was to be held from 1st - 4th June 1995. There would be tours of towers on Friday and Saturday with entertainment on Friday evening and a dinner on Saturday evening. The Festival would conclude on Sunday morning with a Festival Service at the Town Church, St Peter Port.

    Gail Cater advised that the former Education Committee had arranged a course to be held on Saturday 29 October from 10am - 3pm. There would be two groups; one looking at first steps in conducting on 6, and another on teaching bell control. The course would be based in Chandlers Ford and applications should be made before the end of September.

  19. Date and Place of 1995 AGM

    The 1995 AGM would be held on the Isle of Wight on 1st July. Vivienne Stacey advised that the District were considering having a barbecue in the evening after the meeting. June Mitchell reminded members that the Fishbourne - Portsmouth car ferry runs all night (at two hourly intervals during the night).

  20. Any Other Business

    Mark Esbester conducted a draw for the BRF 200 Club. The winners were as follows:-

    Liz Watts£150
    Gilian Davis£75
    Derek Jackson£50
    Reg Cockle, Barbara Handley-Garland, and Malcolm Donaldson£25

    There being no further business the Master closed the meeting with a prayer at 5.52 pm.