1. Welcome

    The Guild Master - Viv Nobbs, supported by the Vice-Master - Christine Hill, Hon. Gen. Secretary - Mo Routh, Hon. Gen. Treasurer - Mike Bubb and Minute Secretary - Tony Smith, opened the meeting at 10.18 a.m. The Master welcomed those present and asked Barry Fry to say a prayer.

    The other members attending were Andrew Banks (A&P Exec Rep.), Roger Barber (Belfry Stewardship), Steve Castle (C&S Exec Rep.), Nici Collins (Basingstoke Sec.), Edd Colliss (Peal Recorder), John Davey (Child Protection), Barry Downer (IoW Exec Rep.), Barry Fry (BRF Trustee), Maggie Hiller (Andover Sec.), Madeline King (A&P Joint Sec.), Simon King (Portsmouth Sec.), Christine Knights-Whittome (Education), David Mattingley (BRF Trustee), Peter Niblett (CC Rep., Striking Competitions), Mary Tester (IoW Sec.), Matthew Wilks (Portsmouth Exec Rep.), and guests Martin Barnes, Mike Hopkins Till, Simon Lipscombe, Graham Nobbs, Senna Smith and Mike Winterbourne.

  2. Apologies for absence had been received from Michael Church, David Forder, Sallie-Louise Ingram, Jane Le Conte, John Palk and Bruce Purvis. Further apologies were received from Ashley Gray and Barbara Townsend.

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

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

    Scarlett Holbrook Amport
    Jacqueline RedwayNew Alresford
    Dennis ChapmanEling

    Also remembered was Brenda Monaghan who, although not a Guild member, was tower correspondent at Leckford for many years.

  4. Minutes of the last meeting

    The minutes of the meeting held on 15th November 2014 were proposed by Tony Smith, seconded by Christine Hill, and signed by the Master as a true record.

  5. Matters arising from the minutes

    1. John Davey showed a draft of the 2016 Ringing World calendar. The Master thanked all who had contributed.

    2. Tony Smith asked about the Young Ringers’ Competition but there was no news.

  6. Elections to fill vacancies caused by Rosalind Martin’s resignations

    The Master read a resignation statement by Rosalind Martin.

    1. Central Council Representative

      Tony Smith reminded the meeting that, in the event of there being more than two candidates, there would be a series of votes with the candidate receiving the fewest votes dropping out until one candidate received the votes of more than half the members present.

      There were three candidates:

       Proposer Seconder
      Mike Hopkins TillMike BubbPeter Niblett
      Mike WinterbourneViv NobbsChristine Knights-Whittome
      David MattingleyTony SmithEdd Colliss

      After nomination speeches by the proposers, the candidates retired while the voting took place and on their return the Master announced that David Mattingley had been elected and thanked all three candidates.

    2. Public Relations Officer

      There were no candidates. It was agreed on the proposition of the Hon. Gen. Treasurer, seconded by the Hon. Gen. Secretary, that the vacancy be left open until the AGM.

  7. Reports and accounts for 2014

    The following reports and accounts had been distributed and were considered.

    1. Hon. Gen. Secretary. No comments.

    2. Hon. Gen. Treasurer. No comments.

    3. Hon. Librarian and Archivist. No comments.

    4. Hon. Peal Recorder. Edd Colliss corrected the number of ringers achieving their first peal from 9 to 10. Graham Nobbs pointed out that several Major method names (Cos Hill to Dereham and Tan Hill to X Fell) were duplicated in the table.

    5. Belfry Stewardship Committee. Roger Barber said there had been minor amendments. It was pointed out that the Balance C/F figure appeared as the Expenditure total.

    6. Communications Committee. No comments.

    7. Education Committee. Tony Smith pointed out that it was not necessary to show how much of the Balance C/F was in the bank account and how much in petty cash.

    8. Public Relations Officer. The Hon. Gen. Treasurer disliked the last paragraph which expressed a personal opinion. However it was agreed to leave it unchanged.

    9. Striking Competition Committee. Peter Niblett corrected the year at the end of the text from 2014 to 2015 and said he needed information from Nigel Herriott to prepare the accounts. Tony Smith asked if more complete results could be included and undertook to provide Peter with the details.

    Subject to these corrections, the reports and accounts were accepted en bloc on the proposition of John Davey, seconded by Christine Knights-Whittome.

  8. Bell Restoration Fund

    1. Reports and accounts. The Hon. Gen. Treasurer said the report and accounts as distributed had been approved by the Trustees that morning.

    2. Report on Trustees’ meeting. David Mattingley said there were grants outstanding to All Saints, Basingstoke which were being augmented from 9 to 10, Houghton where a light 6 was being installed, and Northington where the 3 bells were being restored. New grant applications had been received from Wherwell where the 5 bells were being restored at a cost of £33,500 excluding VAT and Ecchinswell where a biggish 3 was being replaced by a light 6 at a cost of £22,500 including VAT. The Trustees recommended grants of £3,500 and £2,500 respectively. John Davey seconded and these were agreed.

  9. Report on the Financial Review

    This had been distributed. The Hon. Gen. Treasurer proposed and Tony Smith seconded that a motion should be proposed at the AGM on behalf of the Executive Committee to reduce the proportion of the subscription allocated to the BRF in accordance with rule 8.b from £4 to £2, the additional £2 available to Guild funds being allocated between central funds and the Districts in accordance with rule 15. This was agreed nem con.

  10. Draft Guild Plan of Action

    A Summary Business Plan had been distributed and was approved nem con., and copies of the Draft Business Plan were available to take away. Where significant expenditure was involved specific proposals would be brought to the AGM.

  11. Education Committee proposal regarding funding

    A paper had been distributed. Christine Knights-Whittome proposed and Simon King seconded that a motion should be proposed at the AGM on behalf of the Executive Committee that the Guild reimburse ART/ITTS costs (currently £20 per person) for W&P Guild ringing members attending an ITTS Module 1 or Module 2 course. John Davey was not in favour of just supporting members attending ITTS courses and not those attending other courses like Hereford or Bradfield. Christine Knights-Whittome explained that ITTS courses would be arranged by the Guild Education Committee. The Master read the Investment in Education section of the Draft Business Plan and the Vice-Master said that the quality of teaching was raised as an issue in feedback received from the Districts. The motion was passed.

  12. Life Membership

    1. John Dodd of Bishopstoke who has completed fifty years’ ringing membership of the Guild would be presented with his Life Membership certificate at the AGM.

    2. Tony Smith had the Master’s approval to make a proposal for life membership, to be recommended by the Executive Committee in recognition of an individual’s services to the Guild, verbally without the customary paper in advance of the meeting.

      Tony said that John Colliss was elected a member of the Guild at a meeting of the old Southampton District at East Tytherley on 9 July 1966 and would complete 50 years’ membership, and be eligible for life membership under the 50 year rule, next year. However the week before his election he attended the AGM at Alton on 2 July 1966 and has attended every AGM since, making this year his 50th.

      Attending 50 consecutive AGM is an unparalleled achievement and, in Tony’s opinion, would alone justify life membership. However John is also an outstanding ringer, having to date rung 1763 peals for the Guild, and has also served in many positions at tower, District and Guild level, including Bishopstoke Tower Secretary, Winchester Cathedral Ringing Master, Winchester District Ringing Master, Executive Committee Representative and Independent Examiner, and 9 years as Honorary General Treasurer during which time he served on the Ringing School, Striking Competitions, Centenary Celebration and Central Council Visit committees.

      The proposal was agreed nem con. Tony asked members to keep the proposal strictly secret so that it came as a pleasant surprise at the AGM. The item would be redacted from the minutes until after the AGM.

  13. 2015 meetings

    1. Annual General Meeting 4th July 2015 Curdridge
      District Officers’ Forum3rd October 2015Littleton Millennium Hall
      Executive Committee Meeting21st November 2015St Barnabas’ Church Hall
    2. Striking Competitions

      The Inter-Tower competitions would be on 18th April 2015 in Southampton, the 6-bell at St Barnabas’ and the 8-bell on the back eight at St Mary’s. The Inter-District 8-bell competition would be on the morning of the AGM at Shedfield and the Inter-District 10-bell competition would be on 26th September 2015.

  14. Any other business

    1. A further paper on the Proposed Database of Guild Members had been distributed. It was agreed that a proposition, including projected setup and running costs, would be put to the AGM. The Hon. Gen. Treasurer asked that the information be distributed to the towers in good time.

    2. The Hon. Gen. Secretary reminded the meeting that the Committees would all be up for election at the AGM. Tony Smith said that some of the Committees had not been active for some years and were no longer as important for the Guild’s future. He proposed and Barry Downer seconded that a motion should be proposed at the AGM on behalf of the Executive Committee to disband the BRF Fund-raising Committee and the Social Committee. This was agreed nem con.

    3. The Master said that Phil Watts was organising the Council for the Care of Churches DAC Bell Advisers Conference in Winchester on Friday 3rd July and would like to hear from anyone interested in tendering to supply the refreshments.

    4. The Vice-Master asked for news of the W&P 200 Club. The BRF was continuing to benefit from the Club but there had not been a prize draw for several years. The Master and Tony Smith offered to confer and approach Mark Esbester, possibly suggesting that, owing to the difficulties in transferring the existing standing orders to a new account holder, it might be better to have a final prize draw and close down the Club in its present form.

    5. John Davey suggested there might be a specific position on the Executive Committee for a young member of the Guild. However, others thought that all positions on Executive Committee should be occupied by young members of the Guild!

There being no further business, the Master closed the meeting at 11.38 a.m.