1. Welcome

    The Guild Master - Mike Winterborne, supported by the Vice-Master - Pete Jordan, Hon. Gen. Secretary - Heather Frazer, Hon. Gen. Treasurer - Ros Brandwood and Minute Secretary - Tony Smith, opened the meeting at 10.12 a.m. The Master welcomed those present and said a prayer.

    The other members attending were Martin Barnes (Belfry Stewardship), Steve Castle (C&S Exec Rep.), Nici Collins (Basingstoke Sec.), Edd Colliss (Peal Recorder), John Croft (Winchester Exec Rep.), John Davey (Child Protection), Margaret Downer (IoW Exec Rep.), Barry Fry (BRF Trustee), Ashley Gray (Basingstoke Exec Rep.), Maggie Hiller (Andover Sec.), Christine Knights-Whittome (Education), David Mattingley (BRF Trustee, CC Rep.), Viv Nobbs (PRO), Mike Novell (A&P Sec. proxy), John Palk (Report Editor), Hugh Routh (A&P Exec Rep.), Mary Tester (IoW Sec.), Matthew Wilks (Portsmouth Exec Rep.) and Allan Yalden (CC Rep.).

  2. Apologies for absence had been received from Lisa Ashforth, Deb Baker, Michael Church, Sallie-Louise Ingram, Bruce Purvis and Barbara Townsend.

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

    The Hon. Gen. Secretary read the following names and the Master asked members to stand while Barry Fry said a prayer.

    Margaret Ellis Eversley
    Robert HowlandHeadbourne Worthy
    Mike Baverstockformerly of Sacred Heart, Bournemouth
    Edna Blissettformerly of Sherborne St John
    Leonard Lewerformerly of New Alresford
    William Arthur Littlejohnsformerly of Baughurst
    Jack Robertsformerly of Overton
    Barbara Salmonsformerly of St Mary, Portsmouth
  4. Minutes of the last meeting

    The minutes of the meeting held on 18th November 2017 were proposed by Tony Smith, seconded by Christine Knights-Whittome, and signed by the Master as a true record.

  5. Matters arising from the minutes

    There were no matters arising.

  6. Life Membership

    Anthony Manship of Botley and Mavis Whitehead of St Mary, Portsmouth, who have completed fifty years’ ringing membership of the Guild, would be presented with their Life Membership certificates at the AGM.

  7. Reports and accounts for 2017

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

    1. Hon. Gen. Secretary. No comments.

    2. Hon. Gen. Treasurer. No comments.

    3. Education Committee. No comments.

    4. Hon. Librarian and Archivist. David Mattingley pointed out that the subscribed date had the wrong year [but was in any case unnecessary].

    5. Striking Competition Committee. No comments.

    6. Belfry Stewardship Committee. Tony Smith requested that the accounts should be presented in the usual format and pointed out that the last sentence requesting a new grant was not part of the report and should be deleted.

    7. Hon. Peal Recorder. No comments.

    8. Communications Committee. Tony Smith requested that the accounts should be presented in the usual format.

    9. Public Relations Officer. No comments.

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

  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 reported there were outstanding grants to Ecchinswell, Northington and Silchester. A new grant application had been received from St Mary the Virgin, Brading where the bells were being tuned and augmented to ten, with a new frame, fittings, headstocks, and rebuilt wheels, at a cost including local labour of £105,000 plus VAT and the Trustees recommended a grant of £13,000. The Hon. Gen Treasurer seconded and this was agreed. David said a further grant application has been received from Wolverton and would be considered at the next meeting of the Trustees.

  9. General Data Protection Regulation

    The Central Council Tower Stewardship Committee 2018 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Interim Guidance Note had been distributed. From 25th May 2018 explicit consent would be required from Guild and District Officers and Tower Secretaries for their contact details to be listed on the Guild website and in the Annual Report. After the Data Protection Act 1998 came into force on 1st March 2000 all Guild and District officers and Tower Secretaries whose contact details were printed in the Annual Report had to complete a permission form before their details could be published on the Guild website. The forms were originally looked after by the Public Relations Committee and subsequently by the Communications Committee, but no-one present knew when we stopped seeking permission to publish contact details on the website. Following discussion it was agreed that the Master, Vice-Master, Hon. Gen. Secretary and Hon. Gen. Treasurer would consider how the Guild would meet the requirements of the 2018 GDPR.

  10. WW1 Project Feedback

    Viv Nobbs read extracts from messages of support from Bishop Christopher of Portsmouth and Bishop Timothy of Winchester, and then read a paper (see Appendix A).

  11. 2015 - 2018 Action Plan Review

    Viv Nobbs had placed copies of a paper on members’ chairs before the meeting (see Appendix B).

  12. Proposal to earmark £2,000 for WW1 Centenary Commemoration Project

    A paper from Viv Nobbs had been distributed. Several members questioned whether spending such a large amount (over a quarter of the Guild’s monetary reserves) on two books was a good use of our resources. The Master said that major items of expenditure should be discussed at the AGM. Viv assured the meeting that she would take into account the opinions expressed. Following further discussion the Hon. Gen. Treasurer proposed and Allan Yalden seconded that expenditure of up to £1,000 should be included in the 2019 budget and this was agreed. The Isle of Wight District had donated the proceeds from raffles of £114 to the project.

  13. Future 2018 dates

    Education - Plain Bob Doubles and Minor 17th March St Mary Bourne
    Education - Introduction to Rope Splicing27th MarchWinchester
    Education - Treble Bob28th AprilSherfield English
    Education - Raising and Lowering in Peal12th MayBishopstoke
    Inter-Tower 6-bell striking competition19th MayLockerley
    Inter-Tower 8-bell striking competition19th MayEast Tytherley
    Annual General Meeting16th JuneSt Michael’s Basingstoke
    Inter-District 8-bell Striking Comp16th JuneSt Michael’s Basingstoke
    Ringing World National Youth Contest7th JulyLondon
    Essex Trophy Competition8th SeptemberHorsham
    Inter-District 10-bell Striking Comp15th SeptemberEast Meon
    District Officers’ ForumTBC
    Education - Plain Hunt and Trebling to Doubles13th OctoberBasingstoke
    Executive Committee Meeting17th NovemberSt Barnabas’ Church Hall
    Education - Surprise Minor24th NovemberShedfield
  14. Any other business

    1. Following discussion it was agreed that the Executive Committee meetings in 2019 would be on 16th March and 16th November.

    2. Viv Nobbs had posters and leaflets for the Ringing Remembers campaign.

    3. In reply to a question from Tony Smith, John Palk said he expected 625 copies of the “Annual Report for 2017 and Handbook for 2018” to be required.

    4. Allan Yalden advertised the Guild Weekly News mailing list (

There being no further business, the Master closed the meeting at 11.04 a.m.


WW1 Centenary Commemoration Project Update for E.C. 10 March ’18

Our Guild project is ambitious, possibly unique, and it is unlikely even at this stage, that all questions can be answered. I’d be pleased to offer further information where possible later on. Meanwhile, an interim update for you all.

At the outset, so when we were including the project as a Future Event in the Action Plan for 2015 - 2018, we made a conscious decision to be as flexible and inclusive as possible. There were some very positive ideas including:

The project offers great opportunities for every member to take part and towers to use their own initiative and ideas, and their own local church and community contacts, to achieve the results that they’d like. It raises the profile of ringing in a very positive way, including potential benefits in the area of recruitment.

Our first volunteer for the research element of the project, Rachel, now resident back in Australia was totally committed to it all and her magnificent offer of starting record-harvesting from 1914 was gratefully accepted. This enabled the project to develop into something quite spectacular and has offered so much extra value and appeal.

Currently we are a small project team of four but, as we are seeing the critical final year on the horizon, we will be seeking more volunteers very soon. The team of researchers, three currently, will strive to harvest as much material as possible but a major element of the more recent and future performances is likely to come direct from individual ringers and conductors. We very much appreciate this team effort.

The main thrust of the group’s work so far has been the painstaking harvesting of performances that we hope to use in the printed volumes and archives - from Bell News, Ringing Worlds, Bell Board and from details submitted direct to us by members, and then compiling the initial computer records. To date we have in the region of 510 records. There is a possibility that these will be available on our website; this is work in progress. There have been further discussions with the printer.

Ringers have been doing us proud, as ringers do! We anticipate a steady flow of WW1 related performances over the next eight months with the majority in November, of course.

We are positively encouraging all towers right across the Guild to ensure that at least one special ringing performance from their church might be recorded in the archives and that all Guild members who fell in the conflict have had a special performance rung in their memory and honour.

We are delighted that so much special ringing has taken place to date and to witness significant interest and support from outside of our own ringing community.

The working group will soon be meeting again with the Principal Officers when all aspects of the project will be reviewed and discussed. This will include the likely final content and design of the printed volumes and the involvement of neighbouring associations previously in the Winchester Guild. It’s always been acknowledged that the content of the archive and books will depend on what performance details are available to us. We hope to be able to include in the two printed books the majority of details of the performances harvested or submitted to us. Specific plans will be drawn up for a timetable of work to be done right up to the two Cathedral Services in 2019. Consideration will be given to what extra, specific volunteer resources and fund-raising are needed and the appropriate arrangements put in place.

This Commemoration project offers us all an incredible opportunity to work together - individual ringers, towers, our churches and local communities - culminating in some significant and very special results.

Thank you. Viv Nobbs


Guild Action Plan Review March - 2018

An Action Plan can enable ideas to develop and provide continuity. It is anticipated that elements of a Guild plan, alongside a current picture of our funds, will be reviewed annually. It encourages further focus and accountability to members.

The review of the existing Action Plan for 2015-18 was presented to members at the 2017 A.G.M.

Weekly newsletters circulated to members, by email, at their request have been introduced recently and are proving to be both popular and effective.

Districts and many towers are using the website successfully for circulating news, including urgent notices.

The website continues to be a very effective window to the outside world.

Work on the proposed Members’ Database has not started yet; this item will be reviewed in the light of the new legislation THE 2018 GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATION (GDPR) coming into force on 25th May 2018.

Principal Officers recommend that the revised Action Plan for the future period is drawn up, presented to, and considered by, the Executive Committee and all Districts later in 2018 and 2019 with a view to a recommended plan being presented to the 2019 A.G.M.

This will afford all to have an opportunity to consider the revision or inclusion of a number of significant items such as the Training and Development Fund, Training of more Teachers, Young Ringers, Guild Administration, Education. Recruitment and Retention, Health and Safety and Safeguarding.

Viv Nobbs
Immediate Past Master
10 March 2018