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 5.48 with a prayer and welcomed everyone to Newport, including Bernard and Anne Ongley, visitors from Warrington. The Master expressed thanks to the Isle of Wight ringers for the splendid tea and the excellent arrangements for ringing during the day, Canon Buckett for taking the service, and the organist.

  2. Apologies for Absence

    Apologies were received from:-
    Michael and Lucy Church, Geoffrey Hill, Elizabeth Johnson, Andrew Palk, Les Duguid, Barbara Townsend, Roy and Ann LeMarechal, Gilian Davis, Martin Waldron, Chris Kippin, John Croft, Ken and Hazel Matthews, Mick and Margaret Thomas.

  3. Loss of Members through death

    The meeting stood in silence to respect the following deceased members:-
    Hilda Carter - Binsted
    Walter Sherfield (LM) - Bentley
    Dorothy Huggins - ex Old Alresford
    Jessica Wimlett - Abbotts Ann
    Chris Leach - St John, Jersey
    Isabel Jetten - Twyford
    Reg Abbott - Winchester Cathedral
    Charles Kippin (LM) - Hursley

  4. Minutes of the 1994 AGM

    Minutes of the 1994 AGM held at Basingstoke, had been circulated by the Minute Secretary in 1994. The minutes were approved on a proposition from Bill Harris.

  5. Matters Arising

    1. Open Days in aid of the BRF. The Secretary advised that the Winchester District was arranging an Open Day on Saturday 16 September 1995. The Christchurch and Southampton District had been approached for 1996, Basingstoke for 1997 and the Isle of Wight for 1998. The Secretary asked that individual tower Open Days should try to avoid their District Open Day by a couple of years if possible so as to maximise income for the BRF.

    2. The Channel Islands Festival. The Master expressed thanks for the splendid hospitality shown by the Channel Islands ringers and the organising committee led by Michael Hilson. He asked the Secretary to write expressing thanks on behalf of the Guild.

  6. Honorary Life Members

    George Evenden of Southampton, and three ringers who all began to ring together at Overton, Esme Weaver and Margaret Taylor (now of St Michael Basingstoke) and Paul Holmes, had all completed 50 years membership of the Guild and accordingly became Life Members.

    On behalf of the Executive Committee, the Master proposed that Jack Wimlett of Abbotts Ann and Outram Haythome of Shedfield also be elected to Life Membership for their services to the Guild.

    The proposal was accepted and all the new Life Members were greeted with acclamation.

  7. Officers' and Committees' Reports for 1994

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

  8. Accounts for 1994

    The accounts were printed in the Guild Report. The Treasurer advised that the accounts had been audited and there was a mistake in the reports as printed in that the total in the balance sheet for 1993 was £8000 more than shown. The Central Fund remained healthy and the BRF income had increased by £1000 over 1993. Alan Bateman proposed that the accounts be adopted. This was seconded by Sally Dashwood and carried nem con.

  9. Report on the 1995 Central Council Meeting

    Tony Smith reported on items relevant to the Guild from this meeting which had been held in Wilton. All of the Guild's representatives had attended. The Council honoured Frank Lufkin and Rev Dr John Baldwin with Life Membership and established a new separate post of Treasurer. The various Committee Reports had been published in the Ringing World in advance of the meeting, and a brief report of the meeting had appeared in RW 4389 (June 9 1995). [The Official Report appeared in RW 4393 (July 7 1995)].

    Derek Jackson advised that (as reported in RW 4390, June 16 1995) the Central Council was aiming to assemble a group of towers with restoration and/or augmentation projects in order to apply for funding from the Millennium Fund.

  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. St John, Surrey Road, Bournemouth. Refurbishment of clappers at a cost of £474.70. The Trustees proposed a grant of £50.

    2. Lyndhurst. To remove and refurbish clappers and pulleys. Replace 6th headstock, refurbish frame and fittings. The estimated cost was £8552 and the proposed grant was £1000 conditional on the carrying out of additional work to prevent the ingress of water and birds. It was stated that the Trustees would be prepared to consider an additional grant towards the cost of this work.

    3. Portsmouth Cathedral. Refurbishment of the clappers and crown staple assemblies at a cost of £1850. The proposed grant was £185.

    4. Tangley. Refurbish and augment to 6, rehanging with new fittings. Removal of cannons from four of the bells. The estimated cost was £17307 and the Trustees proposed a grant of £2000. In response to a question from Tony Smith, the meeting was advised that the these bells were thought to be Victorian.

    The total of grants recommended was £3250 and the Trustees were proposing slightly larger grants than in previous years because of the increased income to the BRF as a result of the decision last year to allocate a proportion of subscriptions to the BRF.

    The Trustees recommendations were seconded by Jack Wimlett and carried nem con.

  11. Election of Officers for 1995-1998

    1. Guild Master. Bob Cater took the chair for this item. Derek Jackson proposed Barry Fry, but with a plea that for the next Triennium all members be encouraged to consider offering their services as Guild Officers so that many names come forward at the AGM in the Andover District. Rev Barry Fry was seconded by Bill Harris and, there being no other nominations, was elected.

    2. Honorary General Secretary. Bob Cater was proposed by The Master and elected.

    3. Honorary General Treasurer. Michael Bubb was proposed by Mark Esbester, seconded by Sally Dashwood, and elected.

    4. Minute Secretary. Andrew Case was proposed by Gail Cater, seconded by the Master, and elected.

    5. Honorary Peal Recorder. The Master placed on record appreciation to Roy LeMarechal for his record keeping and advice for the past 18 years and asked the Secretary to convey the Guild's thanks to Roy. Ceri Dodd was proposed as Peal Recorder by Roy LeMarechal, seconded by Gail Cater and elected.

    6. Honorary Report Editor. The Master commented that Ruth Jackson had served in this post with distinction. Ruth Jackson was proposed by Michael Bubb, seconded by Gladys Matcham, and elected.

    7. Honorary Librarian. Kim Matthews was proposed by Ruth Jackson, seconded by Derek Jackson, and elected.

    8. Public Relations Officer. Ian McCallion was proposed by Andrew Craddock, seconded by John Colliss, and elected.

    9. Bell Restoration Fund Trustees. For the Winchester Diocese, Martin Waldron was proposed by Tony Smith and seconded by Wendy Ling. For the Portsmouth Diocese, Mark Esbester was proposed by Bill Harris and seconded by Stuart Heath. Both were elected.

    10. Representatives to the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. The Guild was now entitled to elect 5 representatives to serve for three years from May 1996, following a change in the Central Council Rules.

      Bob Cater was not seeking re-election having served as a Representative for the Guild for 18 years. The Master thanked Bob for his service during which he had chaired the Education Committee and been a member of the Administrative and Ringing Centres Committees.

      The following were elected to represent the Guild:-

      Andrew CraddockProposed by Bob CaterSeconded by Ian McCallion
      Gail CaterProposed by June MitchellSeconded by Wendy Ling
      Derek JacksonProposed by Gilian DavisSeconded by Jessie Kippin
      Tony SmithProposed by Mark EsbesterSeconded by John Colliss
      Barry FryProposed by David LaySeconded by John Davey

    11. Honorary Auditor. Peter Clark was willing to stand again. He was proposed by Bob Cater, seconded by Ruth Jackson and elected nem con. Richard Green suggested that the Accounts might be audited before being printed in the Guild Report. The Treasurer supported this and advised that he did try to arrange it, but it was not always possible because of holidays.

  12. Date and Place of 1996 AGM

    The 1996 AGM would be held in the Alton and Petersfield District on 6th July 1996. David Whiting hoped to be able to combine the meeting with the Selborne barbecue with the meeting probably being at Liss.

  13. Other Future Events

    Vivienne Stacey gave details of the arrangements for the social evening to be held after the meeting.

    Andrew Pickett mentioned that the Winchester District Dinner was to be held on 14 October 1995 at the Winchester Moat House Hotel. Tickets would be roughly £18.50 each.

    Gail Cater mentioned the Education Committee's Tower Management workshop to be held on the afternoon of Saturday 28 October at Old Alresford, with the support of the Central Council Education Committee.

    Faith Webster advised that the Christchurch and Southampton District would be arranging an Open Day for 1996, probably to be held on 6th May if this was a Bank Holiday.

    Essex Shield Striking Competition - 16 September, Leeds, Kent. The Secretary had asked Steve Castle to arrange a band to represent the Guild.

  14. Any Other Business

    1. The Society for the Preservation of Isle of Wight Bells had 8 handbells on display which were being offered for sale.

    2. The BRF Fund Raising Committee had produced a sheet of ideas for tower fund raising and June Mitchell hoped that individual towers would respond in an effort to double the BRF income to £12000 for 1995.

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

      £150Phil Watts
      £100Colin Bryce
      £75Christine Hill
      £50Rosemary Hill
      £50Bob Cater
      £25 (9 prizes) Heather Kippin; Martin Hough; Lyn Breslain; Gladys Matcham; Mrs Clutterbuck; Heather Hartridge; Michael Esbester; Gladys Matcham; Cecily Roberts.

    There being no further business the Master closed the meeting with a prayer at 6.46 pm.