The Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers



  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, Judy Bishop, opened the meeting at 15.10 with a prayer and welcome. Barbara Townsend on behalf of the Andover District welcomed everybody as did Geoff Dodd who read a letter from Henry Lawrenson who hoped the meeting would be happy and profitable and was sorry not to be with us, though his ringing days were now over he had long and happy memories of Highclere and of ringing with Geoff Dodd. His address is 52 Kings Road, Newbury and he would be delighted to hear from anyone. The Master responded to the welcomes and thanked all those involved in the day's arrangements.

  2. Apologies for Absence

    Apologies were received from Linda Bulpitt, Elizabeth Chapman, Susan Clutterbuck, Sally Dashwood, Ruth and Derek Jackson, Enid and Ernest Treagus, Martin Waldron, Faith and Tony Webster.

  3. Loss of Members through Death since 1997 AGM

    The meeting stood in silence to remember David Brown from Buriton, Henry Thompson from Bentley, Rev. Peter Manton a life member from Jersey, Mrs. Jenkins from Godshill, Peter Rourke from Ryde and John Faithfull from Southampton.

  4. Minutes of the 1997 AGM

    Minutes of the 1997 AGM held at St. Barnabas Church Hall, Lodge Road, Southampton had been circulated and were approved and signed by the Master.

  5. Matters Arising

    1. The Isle of Wight Open Day held on 9 May. So far £625.90 had been collected but money was still due from 8 towers. The Master thanked the Isle of Wight District members for their efforts.

    2. Essex Shield. Last year the District was unable to raise a team for this competition. We have been invited again this year, the date being 19 September and suggestions for an organiser for a 10-bell band were invited by the Secretary.

    3. Judy Bishop was ratified as the new Minute Secretary.

  6. Honorary Life Members

    The Master on behalf of the Executive Committee proposed that Rex Corke and Richard Green should be made Life Members. The proposal was accepted and both members were warmly thanked for their support and contribution to ringing over the years.

  7. Officers' and Committees' Reports for 1997

    Bell Restoration Fund Raising Committee. June Mitchell reported that Peter and Wendy Claridge had agreed to join this committee.

    It was noted that some members had not yet received their Guild Reports. There were no questions and the reports were adopted.

  8. Accounts for 1997

    There were no questions. Adoption of the accounts was proposed by Mike Winterbourne and seconded by Michael Church and carried.

  9. BRF Accounts for 1997

    Adoption of the accounts was proposed by June Mitchell and seconded by Phil Watts and carried.

  10. Report of the 1998 Meeting of the Central Council of Church Bellringers

    Tony Smith reported that he and Andrew Craddock had attended the meeting and Gail Cater would have been there but her leg was still in plaster following a fall on an Irish Mountain from which she had to be lifted to hospital by helicopter. At the meeting J.G.M. Scott had been elected as a Life Member. The Australia and New Zealand Guild had invited all Guilds to an international striking competition to be held in Australia in 2001 and thereafter every 10 years. Tony Smith reported on the council's discussions on English Heritage's Code of Practice for Bells. English Heritage appear to be trying to preserve everything that is old whilst not actually preserving bell ringing. John Croft questioned the legal position of English Heritages' action. Andrew Craddock reported on other committees work.

  11. Proposal of Grants from the Bell Restoration Fund

    Mark Esbester gave the following recommendations on behalf of the trustees.

    These recommendations will account for £7,500 out of the £8,500 available and so more funding will be needed to re-build the Fund.

    There were no questions so the proposals were voted en bloc and carried nem con.

  12. Election of Officers (to serve until 2001 AGM)

    1. Guild Master. Bob Cater took the chair for this item. Geoff Dodd had great pleasure in proposing, at some length, Rev. Barry Fry who he had known since he wore short trousers and who had always been conscientious and praised for chairing well conducted meetings. Rev. Barry Fry was seconded by Guy Thompson. There being no other nominations, Rev. Barry Fry was elected.

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

    3. Honorary General Treasurer. Michael Bubb was proposed by Sue Scott and seconded by Mike Winterbourne and elected.

    4. Minute Secretary. Judy Bishop was proposed by John Croft and seconded by Elizabeth Johnson and elected.

    5. Honorary Peal Recorder. Ceri Dodd was proposed by Gail Cater and seconded by Mike Winterbourne and elected.

    6. Honorary Report Editor. Peter Clarke was proposed by Tony Smith and seconded by John Davey.

    7. Honorary Librarian. Kim Matthews was proposed by Bob Cater and seconded by John Davey. Kim Matthews was elected but said it was on the understanding that she would only be Librarian for one more year.

    8. Public Relations Officer. Ian McCallion was proposed by Tony Smith and seconded by Joyce Croft and elected.

    9. Bell Restorations Fund Trustees. For the Portsmouth Diocese. Mark Esbester was proposed by Richard Harrison and seconded by Stuart Heath. For the Winchester Diocese, Martin Waldron proposed by Tony Smith and seconded by Phil Watts. Both were elected.

    10. Representatives to the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers.

      The following five members were elected to represent the Guild:

      Andrew CraddockProposed by Roy LeMarechalSeconded by John Croft
      Gail CaterProposed by Gilian DavisSeconded by The Master
      Tony SmithProposed by Michael ChurchSeconded by Mark Esbester
      Phil WattsProposed by John CollissSeconded by Peter Clarke
      Mike WinterbourneProposed by Elizabeth JohnsonSeconded by Geoff Dodd

    11. Honorary Independant Financial Examiner. Peter Clarke was proposed by Elizabeth Johnson and seconded by Roy LeMarechal and elected.

  13. Proposed changes to Guild Rules

    The Master on behalf of the Executive Committee proposed the following changes to Rule 8 and Rule 13.

    Rule 8. Subscriptions

    For - 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.

    Substitute - 31st December by 30th June

    After some discussion this proposal was passed nem con. The new Rule 8 to take effect from 1st January, 1999.

    Rule 13. District Meetings

    For - An Annual Meeting shall be held in each District as early in each year as is practicable, but not later than 21st February, to receive reports and statements of accounts, to transact any other business, including fixing the date and place of the next Annual District Meeting, and every third year elect District Officers.

    Substitute - Every third year by at least every third year.

    Proposed change to Rule 13 was passed nem con.

  14. Proposed increase in Guild Subscriptions

    Michael Bubb on behalf of the Executive Committee reported that the simulator is now elderly and may have to be replaced but that there may not be enough in the funds to cover this. Also, at present, some people do not put in for expenses but others may in the future. He therefore recommended that there should be a rise in subscription rates. Mike Winterbourne ascertained that subscriptions were last raised in 1994. A rise to £10 was proposed by John Dodd and seconded by Barry Downer. Anthony Manship proposed and Barbara Townsend seconded a rise to £7.50.

    A vote was taken on these proposals. Both were rejected and Michael Bubb's proposal, seconded by Robert Cater, was passed viz:

    Ringing members and associate members£6.50
    "Over 60" members£4.00
    Junior Members£3.00

    All with the BRF element of the subscription to remain at £1.50. The raised subscriptions to take effect immediately.

  15. Date and Place of next AGM.

    3rd July 1999. The meeting will be held in the Portsmouth District.

  16. Future Guild Events.

    Education Committee. Mike Winterbourne reminded the meeting that an education day will be held on 19th September in Stockbridge.

    Striking Competitions Committee. A 10-bell inter district striking competition will be held on 12th September at Portsmouth Cathedral. There will also be the usual striking competitions in mid-May 1999.

    Social Committee. June Mitchell will be the caller at a barn dance following the 10-bell striking competition. The venue is yet to be confirmed

    Ring in 2000 Group. Andrew Pickett reported that recruiting leaflets, 2 per ringer, had been sent to all towers and it was hoped that unused ones would be returned to the committee. A new Group representative was required from the Christchurch and Southampton District. The stand had been made and was to be used during the summer at Upham, Ropley, Basingstoke, Alton, Ringwood , Romsey and other venues.

    Open Day. The Alton and Petersfield District are organising an Open Day next Easter Monday on 5th April, 1999.

    Guild Dinner 1999. This will be held in the Winchester Cathedral Refectory on Saturday, 10th April.

  17. Any Other Business.

    Michael Bubb, the Treasurer is proposing to have a meeting of District Treasurers.

    Tony Smith, the Report Editor, thanked John Dodd for his help in preparing the Report.

    The meeting concluded at 16.45.