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 10.16 a.m. The Master welcomed those present and asked Barry Fry to say a prayer.

    The other members attending were Lisa Ashforth (Portsmouth Sec.), Deb Baker (Communications), Martin Barnes (Belfry Stewardship), Steve Castle (C&S Exec Rep.), Nici Collins (Basingstoke Sec.), Edd Colliss (Peal Recorder), John Croft (Winchester Exec Rep.), Margaret Downer (IoW Exec Rep.), Barry Fry (BRF Trustee), Gill Gardner (Andover Sec. proxy), Christine Knights-Whittome (Education), David Mattingley (BRF Trustee, CC Rep.), Peter Niblett (CC Rep.), Hugh Routh (A&P Exec Rep.), Mary Tester (IoW Sec.), Barbara Townsend (Andover Exec Rep.) and Matthew Wilks (Portsmouth Exec Rep.).

  2. Apologies for absence had been received from Michael Church, Maggie Hiller, Sallie-Louise Ingram, Greg Jordan, Jane Le Conte, John Palk and Bruce Purvis.

  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.

    Roy Grayson Purbook
    Roy HowardFreshwater
    Tom MetcalfeBlackmoor
    Ramon A Stone (Life Member)West Meon
    David YatesArreton
    Martin Routhformer Tower Captain at Amport
    Colin Nicholsonformerly of St Peter Port
  4. Minutes of the last meeting

    The minutes of the meeting held on 21st November 2015 were proposed by Matthew Wilks, seconded by John Croft, and signed by the Master as a true record.

  5. Matters arising from the minutes

    There were no matters arising.

  6. Reports and accounts for 2015

    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. The Hon. Gen. Treasurer said Bruce Purvis had requested a budget increase from £300 to £400 to additionally purchase volumes of Order and Disorder (ringing extracts from eighteenth and nineteen century newspapers) and DVDs of The Bell News and The Ringing World.

    4. Hon. Peal Recorder. Edd Colliss said David Mattingley had drawn attention to several spelling mistakes that would be corrected.

    5. Belfry Stewardship Committee. Martin Barnes said the planned visit to Droxford was not to sign-off work but was an inspection.

    6. Communications Committee. The Hon. Gen. Treasurer queried the accounts and further investigation was needed.

    7. Education Committee. No comments.

    8. Striking Competition Committee. Peter Niblett made several corrections: the competitions that had been cancelled were the Inter-Tower 6-bell and the Inter-District 10-bell; in the Inter-Tower 8-bell Brading had rung call changes, and the peal speeds and order in which the teams rang would be added; and in the Inter-District 8-bell the Channel Island had 52 faults and some of the peal speeds would be corrected. After discussion with the Hon. Gen. Treasurer it was agreed that expenditure of £3.99 for printing certificates would be shown, clearing the account, and future expenditure would be direct from central funds. Barbara Townsend thought the Committee should have its own budget but the Hon. Gen. Treasurer said that was a matter for the new convenor to consider.

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

  7. 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 augmented from 9 to 10 and awaiting sign-off by the Belfry Stewardship Committee, Houghton where work had started, and Ecchinswell where fundraising was continuing. At Wherwell higher priority work in the church had been identified and so the outstanding grant would be reduced to zero and the church asked to reapply when they were in a position to proceed with the bell restoration. A new grant application had been received from Northington where the plan was now to augment from 3 to 6 at a cost of £17,000 of which £13,500 had already been raised. The Trustees recommended a grant of £2,000. The Trustees agreed with Hugh Routh who pointed out that work on three clappers which was part of the original project specification had not been done and we should not pay grants towards the same work twice. Christine Knights-Whittome seconded and this was agreed.

  8. Election of additional member to Striking Competitions Committee

    Greg Jordan was elected on the proposition of Peter Niblett, seconded by Martin Barnes.

  9. Life Membership

    John Croft (Winchester District Chairman), Alan Hoar of Odiham, Maureen Routh of Steep and Ronald Tipper of Buriton, who have completed fifty years’ ringing membership of the Guild, would be presented with their Life Membership certificates at the AGM.

  10. Election of Guild Officers at the AGM on 2nd July 2016

    The Master said that none of the principal officers, Master, Vice-Master, Hon. Gen. Secretary and Hon. Gen. Treasurer, would be standing for any of these posts. In reply to Hugh Routh, the Master said this would be widely publicised. Barbara Townsend asked that the minutes record thanks to Mike Bubb who will have served as Hon. Gen. Treasurer for 30 years.

  11. Review of Guild Action Plan

    The Master reviewed the Action Plan. A paper had been distributed suggesting the setting up of three working groups.

    1. Guild Annual Report

      Barbara Townsend proposed and the Hon. Gen. Treasurer seconded the setting up of a working group, initially comprising John Palk, the Vice-Master and Peter Hill, to consider the content, format and production costs of the Annual Report.

    2. WWI Commemorative Ringing Record

      The Master proposed and the Hon. Gen. Treasurer seconded the setting up of a working group, initially comprising Rosemary Oakeshott and Rachel Anderson, to consider the compilation, presentation and costs of books, listing performances rung between 2014 and 2018 commemorating the WWI fallen, to be presented to Winchester and Portsmouth Cathedrals, and that the working group be authorised to register interest with the Heritage Lottery Fund.

    3. Centralised Ringing Training School

      The Master proposed and John Croft seconded the setting up of a working group, initially comprising David Mattingley, Mike Winterbourne, Sue Le Feuvre, Andy Ingram and Alan Bentley, to consider the provision of centre(s) for teaching new ringers.

  12. South-East Region Youth Striking Competition

    A paper had been distributed supporting a funding request of £400 towards travel expenses of a joint team of young ringers from the Isle of Wight and Channel Islands Districts to represent the Guild in the competition at Epsom on 2nd April 2016. After declaring a financial interest by underwriting the costs of the trip, the Master relinquished the chair to the Vice-Master and withdrew. Barry Fry proposed and John Croft seconded the requested grant of £400. After an amendment that the amount be £440 had failed to find a seconder the motion was passed.

  13. Guild Welcome Packs for new members

    A paper had been distributed suggesting that a welcome pack, including a copy of the Association of Ringing Teachers’ Discover Bell Ringing booklet, should be posted to all new ringing members. The Hon. Gen. Secretary asked how they would be distributed and there was a discussion of the logistics. The Hon. Gen. Treasurer said that the booklets were aimed at people who knew little or nothing about ringing and would not be of interest by the time someone was elected a ringing member. It was then suggested that copies should instead be sent to new probationary members but the Hon. Gen. Secretary thought there were too many probationary members who never became ringers. Edd Colliss proposed and the Hon. Gen. Treasurer seconded that the proposal be withdrawn to allow for a rethink and this was agreed.

  14. Presentation on Social Media

    Deb Baker gave a presentation for which she was thanked by the Master.

  15. Future dates

    Education Day 19th March 2016 Plain Hunt, St Mary Bourne
    Education Evening22nd March 2016An Evening on Simulators, Bishopstoke
    Education Day16th April 2016Calling for the Terrified, Kingsclere
    Communications Committee23rd April 2016How to be a Website Editor, Basingstoke
    Education Evening6th May 2016“The Hartley Twelve”, South Stoneham
    Inter-Tower Striking Competitions21st May 20166-bell Eversley
    8-bell Hawley (near Camberley)
    Annual General Meeting2nd July 2016New Alresford (Winchester District)
    District Officers’ Forum24th September 2016St Barnabas’ Church Hall
    Executive Committee Meeting12th November 2016St Barnabas’ Church Hall
  16. Any other business

    1. The Vice-Master spoke about the arrangements for the Central Council meeting over the Late Spring Bank Holiday weekend. There had been a good response to the call for volunteers. Guild members will be welcome to attend the Open Meeting at the Royal Beach Hotel and the Songs of Praise service at Portsmouth Cathedral, both on the Sunday afternoon.

    2. Christine Knights-Whittome asked if more Guild sweatshirts could be produced. The Hon. Gen. Secretary said that sweatshirts had in the past been produced by volunteers and, if a volunteer could be found, more sweatshirts could be produced.

    3. Deb Baker asked if there was a form for making a bequest to the Guild. The Hon. Gen. Treasurer said that a bequest was made by writing it into a will.

    4. The Master reported that Andy Bonner of Ropley expected the church to be rebuilt between 2016 and 2018. The Master had donated half of her sponsorship from abseiling down the Spinnaker Tower to the Ropley appeal.

    5. The Master promoted the Mid-Monthly Ringing Tours (no longer called “Meetings” because of negative connotations) and the next tour will be on 13th April 2016.

There being no further business, the Master closed the meeting at 12.04 p.m.