The largest District annual general meeting at Basingstoke for many years was held on January 28th, with the bells of both St. Michael’s and All Saints’ Churches being rung during the afternoon and evening. The Guild service at St. Michael’s was conducted by the Vicar, Canon Norman J. Woodhall, who is District vice-chairman. The Rev. Kenneth C. Davis, of Tadley, himself a ringer, gave an inspiring address based on the Linlithgow coat of arms on a Garter stall in St. George’s Chapel. Windsor. Under the device of the earth split in two is the motto “Spes manet” (Hope remains). In an age when standards of behaviour were declining and few people attended their parish church, he said, bellringers were able to ring out their message of hope into homes having no other contact with the Church.

A fire which damaged Church Cottage in the early hours of Friday morning necessitated quick changes in the arrangements, and the tea was held in St. John’s School. At the business meeting the District chairman, Canon F. A. Sanders, welcomed the visitors, amongst whom was the Master of the Guild (Canon K. W. H. Felstead) and the chairman of the Andover District (Mr. G. K. Dodd). He was also delighted to see Church Oakley tower again represented at an annual general meeting.

The meeting stood in silence as a tribute to the late Bert Garrett, honorary life member and for many years captain at Overton.

After the routine business of approving last year’s minutes and accounts, 11 new members were elected, all juniors, five from Bramley and six from Sherborne St. John.

The votes of thanks included a special one to St. Michael’s captain and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Taylor, who had been working until the early hours of that morning salvaging and washing crockery from Church Cottage kitchen to enable the ladies of St. Michael’s tower to provide tea.

The Ringing World No. 2913, February 17, 1967, page 114