An additional meeting of the Executive Committee was held on Saturday 18th October 1980 in the Village Hall, Lockerley, at 10.30 a.m., prior to the Guild Six Bell Striking Competition. 18 members were present. Mrs Gilian Davis, the Guild Master, was in the chair, supported by the Hon. General Secretary Mr. D.C. Jackson and the Hon. General Treasurer Mr. J.P. Colliss. Mrs. Davis opened the meeting with a prayer, and then welcomed members to Lockerley; in particular Mr. A.P.Smith, a new C.C. representative and Cmr. W.A. Harris, the new Hon. Report Editor.

Apologies for absence

A written apology was received from Mr. K.S.B. Croft, who was attending a C.C. committee meeting in London. Verbal apologies were received from Messrs. R. Downer, M. Esbester, R. Le Marechal, and from Miss. C. Joyce.

Loss of members through death

The meeting stood in silence to respect the following deceased members:-

Mr. Charles Burridge (Winchester Cathedral). Mr. L.V. Smith, Hon. Life Member (Fawley)


Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting held on 15th March 1980 were read and then signed by the Master, after Bishopstoke had been translated into Basingstoke, It was agreed that the Christian name of Mr. Aliston be discovered and inserted into these minutes.

Matters arising

(a) Mr. R. Cater asked if details of the C.C. Redundant Bells Rescue Fund had yet been settled. The Gen. Sec. referred to Ringing World No. 3621 (19 Sept. 1980), page 811, which contained a detailed letter concerning this fund, written by the Chairman, Dean Thurlow. The Guild had received an additional copy of this letter from the Hon. Sec. of the C.C.

(b) Districts reported that they were already able to organise their members in Bell Restoration and Maintenance teams, and that no further organisation was required. Several requested some instruction in maintenance, and Mr. F.E. Collins volunteered his services for this. The Education sub-committee will take steps to arrange a course.

(c) The Gen. Secretary had communicated with the Ecclesiastical Insurance Office Ltd., concerning policy AR 770092. If the premium were increased from £10-50 to £37-20 insurance cover would be increased, as follows:-

Books £2700; Handbells £750; Master’s badge of office, unchanged at £250; Oak bookcase £1000.

It was proposed by Mr. J. Hartless, seconded by Miss S. Hartless, and carried nem. con., that this be accepted, with the proviso that handbell cover be increased to £1000.

Guild Centenary Report

The Hon. Report Editor, Cmr. W.A. Harris, commented that Mr. G. Nabb had arranged for 1200 Reports to be printed, and most had been distributed or sold. Of all the remarks made about this historic document, only three had been adverse, and were directed at the cover. The 1200 Reports and Maps of the Guild Area had been printed by John Longridge at a cost of £580. Income from advertisements was £65, from peal fees £107, and from sales, to date, £50. £380 had been drawn from the Central Fund Account. The Report Editor still held 23 copies of the Report and 100 copies of the Map.

Mr. R. Cater commented that he was disappointed that the Guild Education Committee report had not been printed. Also he pointed out that the two photographs on the inside front cover lacked any explanation. A note should have stated that the two gentlemen were the founders of our Guild. Finally he suggested that the Report Editor utilised members of the Executive for the proof reading, which must be completed accurately in a short time. After a spirited defence of the proof reading by Mrs. P. Nabb, Mr. H. Milford pointed out that the accuracy compared very favorably with that of certain, national daily newspapers. The meeting commended the work of Mr. G. Nabb and others involved with the production of the 1979 Centenary Annual Report.

Support for “The Ringing World”

At the 1980 A.G.M., Mr. C. Denyer had outlined the current financial situation for this publication. Districts had been asked to discuss the matter and to present their recommendations at the Executive Committee Meeting. In spite of considerable discussion it was clear that some Districts would not be able to present their recommendations until the March meeting, and the matter was therefore “held over”.

Contents of future Guild Reports

Introducing this item the Gen. Secretary, reminded members of rule 17 concerning closing dates for tower and District reports, and of rule 1, the Objects of the Guild. He then made a number of suggestions concerning these and future Guild Reports. Cmr. W.A. Harris also listed a number of items he would like to include:-

A photograph of the Master; the accounts for the Guild Draw; a full account of the many activities of the Guild Education Committee; a report of the 1980 C.C. visit to our Guild; a covenant form for the Bell Restoration Fund.

After much discussion, the following points were agreed:-

(a) The tower secretary shown should be the current tower officer and not necessarily that for the previous year.

(b) It will not be possible to indicate the tower captain due to the variety of systems and officers used in our Guild towers.

(c) We would re-introduce the printing of belfry prayers in the Report. This item has not appeared since the Annual Report for 1952.

(d) Covenant forms would be issued as separate sheets or printed on the reverse of advertisements.

(e) District Secretary’s report is to be a factual, historical account and not a list of personal whims and fancies.

Mr. R. Cater requested that the Report Editor did not “tinker” with reports from sub-committees, once they had been passed by the personnel concerned.

Guild Public Relations Officer

At the March 1980 Executive Committee Meeting it was felt that the Guild received sufficient publicity and did not need a Publicity Officer. Re-introducing this matter, the Gen. Secretary reminded the meeting that, in spite of this decision, the 1979 Centenary and the 1980 C.C. visit received very little publicity. At the 1980 C.C. Meeting the purpose of a Guild Public Relations officer was made clear by the appropriate committee. In short, we must awaken to an era of increased leisure time, when more and more people will be looking for the means to occupy themselves, and will need to have our activities explained to them.

Mr. K.Sansom commented that most District Secretaries could deal with the publicity in their own area. Mr. R. Cater pointed out that one of the strengths of our Guild was the independence of Districts, and that any officer appointed to this task should work very closely with District officials. Mr. J. Hartless asked that the matter be discussed further by Districts, and it was agreed to raise it again at the March Executive Meeting, Mr. R. Cater asked if some terms of reference could be suggested, and the Gen. Secretary agreed to make contact with Mr. G.Nabb, who is studying the appropriate documents, and discuss this.

Guild Social Committee

There was some argument on this item as reported in the unratified minutes of the 1980 A.G.M. Mr. F.E. Collins proposed, and Mr. J. Hartless seconded, that we appoint a sub-committee to arrange a Guild Dinner for 1981. This was carried, against one. Mr. F.E. Collins proposed, and Mr. H. Milford seconded, that the following be appointed to this sub-committee:-

The three principal officers, Mr. K.S.B. Croft, Mr. G.C.Grant, and Cmr. W.A. Harris.

This was carried, nem. con. Mr. R.Cater proposed and Mr.M.J. Goss seconded that, at the next Executive Committee Meeting, each District provides names of nominees for membership of the Guild Social Committee. This was carried, nem. con.

Ringing Schools

Mr. R. Cater gave a progress report on these activities.

(a) The Guild Ringing School was held at Eastleigh College of Further Education on 3rd May 1980, It was attended by 50 students, regarded as a success, and made a small financial profit.

(b) A Bob Calling and Conducting Course was held at St. John’s School, Basingstoke, on 4th Oct. 1980. It was attended by 18 students, but made a £10 loss.

(c) A Basic Ringing Theory Course, taken by Mr. A.P. Smith, would commence next Tuesday evening, at the Pastoral Centre in Winchester Cathedral. 15 students have enrolled for this.

Mr. Cater wished to thank all the willing helpers who had ensured the success of the practical sessions. However, he was disturbed that certain District Secretaries are not posting on information about courses to the tower secretaries in their Districts. He pointed out that the Guild had agreed that this must be done, and that, if necessary, postage could be claimed from the Guild Treasurer.

The first ever, C.C. Ringing School had been held at King Alfred’s College, Winchester, from 29th to 31st August 1980. Messrs. Cater, Nabb, and Jackson were involved in the organisation. Mr. Cater passed on thanks from the chairman of the C.C. Education Committee, Mr. W. Butler, and from the chairman of the C.C., Mr.E.A. Barnett. The Master had written to every District Secretary, asking them to pass on her thanks to all Guild members who had been involved in the arrangements and with practical sessions.

Mr. Cater informed the meeting that the C.C. Education Committee had decided to follow up the success of this Ringing School by holding another, from 31st July to 2nd August 1981, again based at Winchester. Messrs A.P.Smith, J.P.Colliss, and Mrs P. Nabb had nagging doubts about the viability of Guild help. Over the past two years there had been a surfeit of calls upon people’s good nature. Mr. Cater pointed out that there was no other possible venue for 1981. The Master pointed out that it was an honour for the Guild to host this event, and asked District Secretaries to try to recruit helpers who had not been involved with the 1980 Ringing School.

Hampshire Church Bells

The Gen. Secretary had written to Mr. P. Taylor, but had received no reply to date

1981 A.G.M.

At the 1980 A.G.M. the service was held at 1.30 p.m., but attendance was poor and unrepresentative. Many agreed with Mr. J. Hartless that the business meeting should again be “open-ended” in order to complete the agenda. It was proposed by Miss S. Hartless and seconded by Mr. F.E. Collins, that the service should be held at 2p.m. followed by the meeting. This was carried, nem. con. The Gen. Secretary had written to the authorities at St. Mary’s, Southampton, and the church and Chantry Hall were now reserved for our use on 4th July 1981. We would be charged half the normal rate for the latter.

Channel Islands

On Saturday 13th September 1980, 50 Channel Islands ringers gathered on the island of Jersey, and at 3.30p.m. attended a business meeting in St. Mark’s Church Hall. During this meeting it was decided, unanimously, to form a separate District within the W. & P. Guild. (A report appears in “Ringing World” number 3626, 24 Oct. 1980, page 918). Prior to the meeting the Master had corresponded with Mr. C. Totty, sending copies of Guild Rules etc. Mr and Mrs. C.H. Kippin had been present at this meeting, and a verbal report had been received from them.

The Master asked the Executive Committee to consider all necessary changes of rules in order that recommendations can be advanced during the March meeting. The meeting sanctioned any meetings between Guild officers and representatives from the Channel Islands. Any change of rule must be confirmed by an A.G.M., and could be effective from 1st January 1982.

1981 Executive Meeting

This will take place on Saturday 21st March 1981. The Gen. Secretary offered as venue the H.Q. of the 1st Testwood Guide Company, behind Testwood Church, Totton. This had the advantage of heating, facilities for the production of refreshments, and the presence of a volunteer to utilise the latter. A nominal charge of £2 would be made to cover the cost of heating.

Any Other Business

Mr. J.P. Colliss announced that, each year, the bells of Winchester Cathedral are made available for a Guild peal attempt. That for 1980 has yet to be arranged. It was agreed that arrangements be left in the hands of Mr. Colliss.

It was agreed to transfer the remaining items on the agenda to that for the March Executive Meeting.

The Master closed the meeting with prayers at five minutes past one.