1. Welcome.

    The Hon. Treasurer, Michael Bubb, opened the meeting at 10.15 a.m., welcomed those present and introduced the new officers, the Master - Viv Nobbs, Vice-Master - Christine Hill, Hon. Gen. Secretary - Mo Routh, and Minute Secretary - Tony Smith. The Master added her welcome and read an announcement of the Past Master - David Strong’s death the previous day (see Appendix).

    The other members attending were Andy Banks, Diana Bishop, Jenny Brudenell, Michael Church, John Davey, David Forder, Barry Fry, Keith Gillings, Maggie Hiller, Madeline King, Christine Knights-Whittome, Janet McCoy, John Palk, Bruce Purvis, Jill Taylor, Mary Tester, Barbara Townsend and Matthew Wilks, and guests Andy Ingram, Rosalind Martin and Rosemary Oakeshott.

  2. Apologies for absence had been received from Roger Barber, Alan Barsby, Edd Colliss, Nigel Herriott, Jane Le Conte and Malcolm Powell. Further apologies were received from Valerie Harris and Peter Niblett.

  3. Loss of members through death since the last Executive Committee.

    Members stood while the Master read the following names and Barry Fry said a prayer.

    Rex Corke, Life Member Lymington
    George EastwoodSherfield English
    Prisca Tremeer, Life MemberSt John, Jersey
    Jack Worrell, Life MemberSt Mark, Jersey
    David Strong, Past MasterLockerley
    Alison ReganWinchester Cathedral (died 2012)
    Canon Keith WalkerWinchester Cathedral
  4. Minutes of the last meeting.

    The minutes of the meeting held on 9th March 2013 were signed by the Master as a true record.

  5. Matters arising from the Minutes.

    1. The Hon. Gen. Secretary reported more Guild badges had been purchased and were available at £2 each.

    2. The Education Committee had purchased a projector and screen.

    3. In reply to an enquiry by the Master, David Forder said that he was receiving newsletters from the Andover District and the other Districts were again asked to send copies of their newsletters.

  6. Budget bids for 2014.

    The following bids were approved.

    1. £300 for the Hon Librarian and Archivist to cover purchases and binding work, proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Christine Knights-Whittome.

    2. £90 for the Hon Report Editor to cover increased postal charges, proposed by John Palk, seconded by Bruce Purvis.

    3. £50 for the Belfry Stewardship Committee to cover travel expenses, proposed by Andy Banks, seconded by John Davey.

    4. Nothing requested by the Education Committee.

    5. £518 for the Communications Committee, increase due to postal charges, proposed by David Forder, seconded by John Davey.

    6. £77 for the Striking Competitions Committee to cover judges’ expenses, thank-you gifts and tower donations, proposed in writing by Nigel Herriott, seconded by Matthew Wilks.

  7. Vacant Guild positions.

    1. BRF Fund-raising Committee. The Master said historically this position had concentrated on small-scale fund-raising but there were opportunities for approaching major sources of funding. Members were encouraged to identify suitable candidates.

    2. Public Relations Officer. The Master emphasised the publicity role and had invited Rosalind Martin to attend. Rosalind introduced herself as the C&S webmaster and an active user of social media (facebook and Twitter) and said that, if appointed, she would take until Easter to get to know what’s going on in the Districts, and who’s who, before taking any concrete actions. She said that successful publicity would lead to recruits and we would need to plan for an influx of learners. Rosalind was appointed on the proposition of the Master, seconded by Bruce Purvis.

    3. Central Council Representative. The Master said the retiring Representative, Mike Winterbourne, was prepared to carry on and Barry Fry also offered to stand. Tony Smith said that we needed Representatives with clear ideas of the work they could do for the Council. Michael Church agreed and said that it was now expected that Representatives should not only attend meetings but fully participate in the work of the Council. The Master imposed a moratorium on the appointment until the March Executive Committee Meeting.

  8. Bell Restoration Fund - Report on Trustees’ meeting.

    Barry Fry reported that the work at Hinton Admiral was likely to be completed around the end of the year (a grant of £1,500 had been agreed at the Executive Committee Meeting in November 2012). There was also an outstanding grant of £1,000 to Northington (agreed at this year’s AGM). A new grant application had been received from Tichborne (too late for consideration at the AGM) for work on the frame and fittings to improve the ease of ringing. The work had been completed and the Trustees recommended a grant of £1,000 towards the total cost of £9,416. Keith Gillings seconded and this was agreed. Michael Church drew attention to the recent extension of the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme under which VAT on work on bells, bell installations and ropes was again reclaimable (see RW October 11th p.1032 and

  9. Striking Competitions Committee - Arrangements for 2014.

    Inter-Tower 6 and 8-bell competitions on 17th May [Post-meeting note. Possibly at Alton but to be confirmed]

    Inter-District 8-bell competition on 5th July 2014 at Hurstbourne Priors

  10. Guild Social Events 2014.

    Jenny Brudenell asked for feedback on recent Guild Dinners and what committee members wanted in the way of social events. The Hon. Gen. Secretary said between 60 and 100 people had attended recent Dinners and Barbara Townsend said they were formal occasions. Diana Bishop suggested opinions be canvassed at ADMs. Jenny wanted to investigate what young people might want and the possibilities of a Barn Dance or Hog Roast were discussed. The Master said she had made a provisional booking at the Winchester Holiday Inn for 17th May 2014. Tony Smith said the Dinner should be self-funding and recent organisers had worked hard to sell enough tickets. The Hon. Treasurer proposed and Barbara Townsend seconded that further enquiries be made into the financial commitment required and the potential loss of deposit in the case of the Dinner not going ahead and that a final decision be made by the principal officers. This was agreed.

  11. Guild Communications.

    Rosalind Martin was pleased that Districts could now post to the Guild website. David Forder said this facility had been available for some time, although it appeared that this was not known by everyone. Ros Oakeshott said that posting direct to the website was intended for news rather than notices and would welcome items sent to her for posting to the website. It was suggested that the Welcome leaflet available on the website for District Secretaries to print and give to new members ( should be reviewed. The Master had obtained 500 copies of the Central Council recruitment leaflet. She said a donation had been requested to cover the cost of postage and she suggested £20. This was agreed on the proposition of Rosalind Martin, seconded by Diana Bishop.

  12. Seminar on “The Future of Ringing” 22nd March 2014.

    The Master said the seminar was to get feedback from local ringers and encouraged everyone to put the date in their diaries. She hoped the venue would be Central Winchester and said volunteers would be needed. Rosalind Martin offered to handle publicity. The Master was hoping to arrange mini-seminars in the Isle of Wight and Channel Islands Districts and sought Guild funding of travel costs. The Hon. Treasurer supported the idea but questioned the likely level of support by the Channel Island District. The Master thought that if even a few members attended it would be worthwhile and proposed the funding of up to three people’s travel costs, the Vice-Master seconded and this was agreed.

  13. Ringing Roadshow 6th September 2014 at Newbury Racecourse.

    The Master said that the Guild had expressed interest in having a stall but the cost was not yet known. Following a discussion Barbara Townsend proposed and Bruce Purvis seconded that the cost should be established and a decision taken at the March Executive Committee Meeting. [Post-meeting note. The likely cost is £40 to £50.]

  14. Update on the Central Council Visit 2016 and the associated Ringing World calendar.

    The Vice-Master said there was a meeting of the organising committee immediately after this meeting. The Hon. Gen. Secretary asked who was providing photographs of towers for the calendar, John Davey said that he and Robin Wilson of Hinton Admiral had so far taken photographs of 38 towers and would be visiting other Districts. John invited photographs from other ringers to be sent to him. Eventually one would be chosen from each District and the other months would feature prominent Guild towers; the cover would have the two cathedrals and the Guild badge.

  15. Rule change regarding Life Membership.

    John Davey had put up a paper addressing a perceived problem that if a member with fifty years’ membership had not paid a subscription in the 51st year they would cease to be a member on 30th June (rule 8) and no longer be a member at the AGM. David Forder pointed out that Life membership was conferred by right to a member with fifty years’ service (rule 6.b). After discussion the proposal was lost on the Master’s casting vote.

  16. 2014 meetings.

    Executive Committee Meeting 8th March 2014 St Barnabas’ Church Hall
    Annual General Meeting5th July 2014Goodworth Clatford
    District Forum4th October 2014Winchester (to be confirmed)
    Executive Committee Meeting15th November 2014St Barnabas’ Church Hall
  17. Any other business.

    1. Keith Gillings reported that All Saints’, Basingstoke was being augmented to a ten.

    2. The Vice-Master said that details of the ringing for David Strong had been sent to The Ringing World and would be published separately from an obituary. The Master thanked Christine and all the ringers who had taken part.

    3. Christine Knight-Whittome said that ADM the AGM at Goodworth Clatford would be at 3.45 p.m., preceded by a Service at 3 p.m. and followed by tea.

    4. Bruce Purvis said that the day was the 300th anniversary of the interment of Fabian Stedman and an impromptu quarter peal attempt was arranged on St Barnabas’ bells following the meeting.

    5. The Master recorded her thanks to the Guild officers who had retired at the AGM.

There being no further business, the Master closed the meeting at 12.30 p.m.


We are very sorry to report that our Guild’s former Master, David Strong, passed away, peacefully, on Friday 15th November. David’s condition had deteriorated very quickly in the last week.

It was all credit to David that he made the journey to the Channel Islands in July for the A.G.M. It was wonderful to have him there with us. His sterling work for our Guild, his encouragement to all members and his wisdom were acknowledged on his retirement as Master in Jersey. He was given a well deserved standing ovation.

There has been special ringing across the Guild recently as a thank you compliment to David for his work as Guild Master. He was able to look through the lovely folder that records the ringing and the ringers when Christine Hill visited him earlier this week. This special ringing has supported Anne and the family, as well.

David never complained about his illness but had borne it with great fortitude and dignity. He continued to work for the benefit of ringers and ringing up to the last. As recently as 2nd November, he wrote Viv a long letter including his offer of “… any support I can give you before the Executive Committee Meeting“.

David has touched the lives of many ringers over the years. We will all have our own precious memories of him to cherish. He will be sorely missed but his guiding influence and lovely smile will stay with us.

Anne will be advising us of the funeral arrangements in due course. Meanwhile, please join us in supporting David’s family.

We send Anne and her family our sincere condolences.

May David rest in peace.

Viv Nobbs, Christine Hill, Mo Routh and Mike Bubb.