A meeting of the Executive Committee was held on Saturday 21st March 1981 in the headquarters of the 1st Testwood Guide Company, behind Testwood Church, Totton, at 1430 hours. 22 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 of the new Executive, at the start of a new triennial period. The following new members were introduced:-

Mr. R.H.Routh, Alton and Petersfield District Secretary; Mr. D.Cahill, Andover District representative; Miss B.Weaver, Basingstoke District Secretary; Mr. D.Chapman, Christchurch and Southampton District representative; Mrs. B.Salmons, Portsmouth District Secretary and Mr. J.Foot, Portsmouth District representative.

Apologies for absence

A written apology was received from Mr. G.Grant. Verbal apologies were received from Mrs. P.Nabb, Mr. P.Taylor, and Mr.R.Downer, the latter sending Mr. D.Weir as his proxy.

Loss of members through death

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

Mr. Paul Hope-Smith(Christchurch). Mr. Tower R. Taylor (Portsmouth). Mr. Thomas White (West Meon).


Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting held on 18th October 1980 had been duplicated and circulated by the secretary with the agendas. Mr. A.P.Smith requested that the words "pointed out" be replaced by "said". The minutes were then accepted, on the proposition of Mr. I.Holdsworth, seconded by Mr. K.Sansom.

Matters arising

(a) The Christian name of Mr. Archibald Aliston has been inserted into previous minutes.

(b) The increased insurance cover for the Guild library and its contents has been effected

(c) The secretary distributed photocopies of the letter from Dean Thurlow, concerning the C.C. Redundant Bells Rescue Fund.


(a) The secretary had received a communication from the C.C. Education Committee concerning the 1981 C.C. Ringing Course to be based at Winchester over the period 31st July to 2nd August, inviting the Guild to sponsor two students for the "Teaching and Leadership" group. Mr. R.Cater clarified that the cost for non-residential students would be £22 each, £15 of this being the cost of meals, hire of accommodation etc. After considerable discussion Cmdr. W.Harris proposed and Mr.F.Collins seconded, that the Guild sponsor two members, selected by Districts, by means of a Draw, as in 1980. This was carried by 11 votes against 5. Mr. R.Cater requested clarification on numbers, and it was agreed that each District should propose one candidate for the draw at the Guild A.G.M. Mr. R.M.Esbester proposed and Mr. A.P.Smith seconded that Guild sponsorship be limited to the cost of the course, less that for meals and accommodation. An amendment was proposed by Mr. R.Cater and seconded by Cmdr. W.Harris that the Guild sponsors each student for £15. This was carried by 14 votes against 3. The full proposition that the Guild sponsors two members for £15 each, after selection by Districts and a draw at the Guild A.G.M., was carried by 16 votes against 1.

(b) The secretary had received a letter from the Assistant Diocesan Secretary in December asking if a single bell could be found for the new tower at the Sheiling School, Ringwood. He had contacted Mr. F.E.Collins who, in the space of twelve hours not only acquired such a bell, but delivered it to the Sheiling School.

(c) Letters of thanks had been received from the P.C.Cs. of Blackmoor and Minstead as a result of grants sent from the Guild Bell Restoration Fund.

(d) Transfer of towers between Districts. A letter had been received from Broughton members requesting transfer from Andover to Winchester District. Another letter had been received from Channel Island members requesting transfer from Christchurch and Southampton District to the Channel Islands District. In both cases all the ringers concerned are in agreement, and, in addition all three Annual District Meetings have agreed to such transfer. In accordance with rule 10 the consent of the Guild A.G.M. is now required.

(e) The secretary had written to the incumbent of St. Paul's, Bournemouth, where there is a chime of bells in the tower. The building is due to be demolished and the church rebuilt on the outskirts of Bournemouth. The Rev. G.E.Wallace had replied that there was no intention to re-install the bells for ringing, since the chime commemorated a previous Vicar's wife. If the bells could not be transferred, the church would wish to sell them for the most advantageous terms, and would notify the Guild of this.

Hon. General Secretary's report

This report had been duplicated and circulated with the agendas. Certain factual items were corrected. Mr. R.M.Esbester requested that members of Portsmouth Polytechnic who rang with the Portsmouth bands received a mention in the report. Cmdr. W.Harris requested, and the secretary agreed to the deletion of a section of information, already covered in the Winchester District report. It was agreed that this report appear in the 1980 Guild Report, on the proposition of Mr. R.M.Esbester, seconded by Cmdr. W. Harris.

Hon. General Treasurer's report

Mr. J.P.Colliss circulated copies of the accounts to be printed in the 1980 Guild Report. These were accepted, on the proposition of Mr. K.Sansom, seconded by Mr. A.P. Smith. The treasurer stressed the need for an increase in Guild subscriptions, price of badges and price of certificates. In answer to a request for clarification by Mr. J. Foot. Mr. Colliss explained that an increase in subscriptions would require a change of rule. This could become effective in 1982, but the increased monies would not be received by him until early in 1983. After considerable discussion Mr. Colliss proposed and Mr. R.H.Routh seconded that rule 7 be altered to read:-

"An Associate Member shall subscribe not less than £2 annually. A Ringing Member shall subscribe not less than £2 annually. Junior Members under the age of 16 years on the date the subscription falls due shall pay 50p annually. Ringing Members over 65 years of age shall pay a minimum subscription of £1 annually. Junior Members shall have no vote on matters of finance. (These subscriptions shall fall due upon election and subsequently on 1st January each year).

Members residing outside the joint diocese may compound for all subscriptions, providing they are not members of a tower within the joint Diocese, by a single payment of £2, but they shall have no vote at meetings of the Guild, nor shall they be entitled to any financial benefits. Life members pay no annual subscription.

A member who fails to pay his subscription by 31st December following the date the subscription becomes due shall be deemed to have withdrawn from the Guild. Such members may be re-elected on payment of a fee of £2 and the subscription for the current year … (the remainder of Rule 7 unchanged)".

This was agreed unanimously.

The previous issue of Guild Membership Certificates was exhausted. The secretary had arranged for the printing of another 1000. The cost would be double. It was proposed by Mr. Colliss and seconded by Mr. Jackson that the charge be increased from 10p to 15p. This was agreed, nem. con. It was proposed by Mr. Colliss and seconded by Mr. Jackson that the price of Guild badges be increased from 60p to £1. This was carried by 14 votes against 6. It was proposed by Cmdr. W.Harris and seconded by Mr. F.E.Collins that the price of Guild Reports be increased to £1, and £1-25 by post. This was agreed unanimously. Cmdr. W.Harris wished to print the accounts for the 1980 Guild Draw in the Report. The profit made was £580-80, but this was reduced by £50 due to expenditure on the C.C. visit. The Guild Treasurer had received a cheque for £530-80.

Hon. Peal Recorder's report

Mr. R. Le Marechal presented the details due for printing in the 1980 Guild Report. He commented particularly upon the increase in tower bell peals, from 274 to 282. This report was accepted on the proposition of Mr. K.Sansom, seconded by Mr. J.Colliss. On behalf of the Winchester District Mr. R.Cater wished to raise the matter of three hoax peals printed on page 77 of "The Ringing World" No. 3639, all attributed to our Guild. Similar hoax peals were recorded for the Oxford Guild, and there was a possibility that the perpetrator was a member of our Guild. After much discussion it was proposed by Mr. K.Croft and seconded by Mr. D.Chapman, that a short disclaimer be sent to the editor of "The Ringing World", but it should not be made available for publication. This was lost, 3 votes for and 12 against. It was proposed by Mr. R.H.Routh and seconded by Mr. A.P.Smith, that a short, concise letter of disapproval, disclaiming knowledge or responsibility, be sent to the editor of "The Ringing World" for publication. This was carried by 15 votes against 3. Mr. Jackson reported that 4 of the tower bell peals were of 101 Doubles m/v, using identical compositions. In between the ringing of the second and third peal the C.C. issued an anonymous publication entitled "Doubles Collection". This altered many names and introduced many variations previously banned by the decisions of the Central Council, converting the third and fourth peal into 107 m/v. Mr. A.P.Smith proposed and Mr. Jackson seconded that all four peals be recorded conforming to the 1968 C.C. decisions. This was agreed, nem. con.

Hon. Librarian's report

In the absence of Mrs. P.Nabb, Cmdr. W.Harris presented the details for printing in the 1980 Guild Report. £35 was carried forward in the Library Fund Account. It was proposed by Mr. J.Colliss and seconded by Mr. K.Sansom that this account be increased to £50 from the Central Fund. This was carried, nem. con. Mr. K.Croft informed the meeting that the peal book belonging to the former Alice White had been presented to the Guild Library. An article concerning this book appeared on page 258 of "Ringing World" number 3647.

1980 Guild Report

Cmdr. W.Harris presented a résumé of his preparations for this Report, asked for decisions on certain matters, and made a plea to District Secretaries to include more news about bell restoration work and to ensure accuracy in their lists of Compounding Members. 1010 copies have been requested by District Secretaries, and he suggested an extra 30 copies for Guild Presidents etc., and an extra 60 copies for sale. Sheperds of Portsmouth quoted £900 and John Longridge quoted £596-70 for the printing of 1100 Reports. He recommended we accept the second quotation. It was possible we could receive £54-50 from sympathetic advertisers.

Mr. A.P.Smith requested that multi-method peals be printed in full since these are part of the Guild's history. There was agreement on this. It was also agreed that details of Channel Islands officers etc. be printed in the 1980 Report after the Christchurch and Southampton details, and not separately. Mr. K.Croft requested that all Honorary Life Members, Patrons etc. receive a copy of each Report, and Cmdr. Harris agreed to check such distribution and ensure that Reports were sent.

It was proposed by Cmdr. Harris and seconded by Mr. K.Croft that we arrange for the printing of 1100 Guild Reports for 1980 by John Longridge. This was agreed, nem. con.

A short break for tea followed at this point.

Honorary Life Members

No names were presented for elections in 1981.

Bell Restoration Fund

Mr. J.P.Colliss circulated copies of the accounts to be printed in the 1980 Guild Report. After payment of grants, the fund totalled £5055-43 on 31st January 1981. The grant made to Yateley had yet to be claimed. Mr. J.Hartless enquired whether the investments were at the most advantageous terms. Mr. Colliss replied that, after the meeting of the Trustees, he had re-invested, as follows:-

City of Southampton bond@ 10% - £500maturing3/11/81
"@ 12% - £1000" 14/12/82
"@ 13¼ - £1000"2/3/85
"@ 13¼ - £1000"12/3/85
Winchester Board of Finance (Variable rate of interest) £1353-67
Trustee Savings Bank £392-40
National Westminster Deposit Acc. £85-95

These accounts were accepted, on the proposition of Mr. K.Croft, seconded by Mr. L. Bailey. Cmdr. Harris stated that a covenant form for the B.R.F. would be included in each copy of the Guild Report, either printed on the reverse of an advertisement, or on a separate sheet of paper. The minimum term for such a covenant is now four years. Mr. R.M.Esbester asked if towers could be encouraged to make annual donations of £10 to the B.R.F., this being a regular source of income until shelved for Centenary money-raising events. It was agreed that District Secretaries promote this idea. Mr. R. Cater announced that the Winchester District had organised an Open Day on 13th June 1981 to raise money for the B.R.F. He asked that other Districts make similar arrangements in following years. Mr. R.M.Esbester stated that, following the Trustees' meeting, he had made arrangements for the production of 1 pint beer glasses with the Guild motif. Unfortunately all firms were at present working to full capacity producing souvenirs resulting from the engagement of a Royal Couple. It was proposed by Mr. A.P.Smith and seconded by Mr. L.Bailey that this money raising idea be sponsored by Guild funds, with an upper limit of 1000 glasses and £500. This was carried nem. con. It was proposed by Mr. R.Cater and seconded by Miss S.Hartless that some half-pint glasses be obtained, if possible. This was carried, nem. con.

Mr. Jackson stated that requests for grants had been received from Church Oakley and from Andover. He had written to both correspondents requesting further information

Reports from Convenors of Sub-Committees

(a) Education.

Mr. R.Cater presented the details for 1979 (lost by the previous Guild Secretary) and for 1980, due for printing in the 1980 Guild Report. He also presented a résumé of events arranged for 1981, as announced at all Annual District Meetings. The report was accepted on the proposition of Mr. J.Colliss, seconded by Mr. J.Hartless.

(b) Striking Competition

Mr. J.Hartless presented details due for printing in the 1980 Guild Report. He also gave details of the two competitions arranged for 1981. This report was accepted on the proposition of Mr. D.Chapman, seconded by Mr. L.Bailey.

(c) 1981 Guild Dinner

Mr. K. Croft reported that the sub-committee met before Christmas. The Dinner was booked for the 25th April at The Royal Beach Hotel, Southsea. Canon R.J.Milner would propose "The Guild", and Mr. R. Cater would reply. Mr. M.Bubb, Chairman of the Channel Island ringers, would propose "The Visitors", and the "Ringing World" editor would reply. He hoped that the librarian could stage a small exhibition, including the Alice White peal book.

Report from Districts on support for "The Ringing World"

No new ideas were forthcoming on this matter.

Guild Public Relations Officer

Tentative terms of reference, drawn up by the General Secretary and Mr. G.Nabb, had been duplicated and circulated with the agendas. After discussion, Mr. Jackson proposed and Cmdr. W.Harris seconded that such Guild Officer be appointed. This was agreed unanimously.

Disposition of profits from 1980 Guild Draw

Referring to the duplicated details concerning the C.C. Redundant Bells Rescue Fund, the General Secretary suggested the Guild consider this, as well as the many excellent, fund-raising schemes proposed by Guild members. It was proposed by Mr. K Croft and seconded by Mr. R. Cater that £50 be offered as a loan, if required by the above rescue fund, and the balance be placed in the Guild reserve account. An amendment was proposed by Mr. R.M.Esbester and seconded by Mr. A. Smith, that the £50 be a donation. This was lost, 2 votes for, 12 against. The original proposition was carried unanimously.

Guild Social Committee

Each District had elected a representative at its Annual District Meeting. Mrs. G. Cater had kindly offered her hone as a venue for a meeting on Sunday 5th April at 1930 hours. District Secretaries were asked to notify their representatives. Mr. A. Smith asked if the committee could make a report at the Guild A.G.M.

"Churches and Bells of Hampshire"

In the absence of Mr. P.Taylor, the General Secretary had photocopied and circulated copies of his progress report. Mr. A.Smith proposed and Mr. R.M.Esbester seconded that we move to the next item on the agenda. This was carried by 12 votes against 5.

Possible changes of Guild Rules

Rule 6

It was proposed by Mr. A. Smith, seconded by Mr. R.Le Marechal, that the following sentence be inserted:-

" … election takes place. In the case of elections outside the Guild area, the ratification can be at any District meeting within the following three months. In addition …" This was carried, nem. con.

It was proposed by Mr. R.M.Esbester, and seconded by Mr. A. Smith that, in the third sentence, the word resident be inserted, as follows:-

"… there is a majority of resident members present …" This was defeated 6 votes for, 11 against.

Rule 7

The Channel Islands ringers had requested that the paragraph permitting them to pay half the annual subscription be retained. After much discussion Mr. J.Hartless proposed and Mr. A.Smith seconded that this paragraph be deleted. This was agreed unanimously. Mr. R.Cater feared that the Channel Islands night secede, but Cmdr. W.Harris pointed out that members must at least pay into Central Fund the cost of their Annual Guild Report.

Rule 14

Mr. J.Hartless proposed and Mr. K.Sansom seconded that the following be added to the first sentence of the third paragraph:-

" … by the districts, except in the case of the Channel Islands District ,where fifty percent is retained, for the purposes of …" This was agreed by 14 votes against 1. It was proposed by Mr. J.Foot, and seconded by Mr. K. Croft, that 50% be increased to 65%. This was defeated, 6 votes for, 12 against.

Rule 4

It was proposed by Mr. A.Smith and seconded by Mr. F.E.Collins, that the last sentence, concerning reasonable expenses, be deleted. This was defeated, 4 votes for, 14 against.

Rule 5

On behalf of the Channel Islands ringers, Mr. Jackson proposed, and Mr. Colliss seconded that Area 9, Channel Islands, be added. This was defeated, 2 votes for, 19 against. Mr. K.Sansom asked if Area 7 should not read "Alton and Petersfield Area". It was agreed that there was a printing error, and it should not read "Petersfield Area".

Rule 2

Mr. K.Croft stated that he had consulted Crockfords, and that it was clear we should now add to our list of Vice-Presidents The Deans of Jersey and of Guernsey. It was proposed by the Master, from the chair, that this be effected, and was agreed unanimously.

Rule 4

It was proposed by Mr. Jackson and seconded by Cmdr. W.Harris, that a Guild Public Relations Officer be added to the list of Officers. This was agreed, 15 votes and none to the contrary.

The above changes of rule must now be submitted to the Guild A.G.M. as recommendations from the Guild Executive.

Mr. R.M.Esbester asked if Guild subscriptions could be index-linked, so that they rose by small amounts each year, rather than by a large sum at infrequent intervals, It was agreed that this be discussed by Districts and placed on the next Executive agenda.

Guild Draw for the B.R.F.

The General Secretary asked each District Secretary to encourage their members to sell tickets. Also to return stubs and money. To date £30 had been received.

Guild A.G.M.

This will take place in Southampton on 4th July 1981. The General Secretary had made the arrangements specified at the last meeting. Miss S.Hartless gave details of ringing arranged from the west, Mrs. B.Salmons outlined her route from the east, and Mr. R. Cater was arranging ringing from the Winchester direction. Mr. J.Foot requested that all towers be made available at different times, and those concerned agreed to consider this.

Mr. D.Cahill announced that the venue for the 1982 A.G.M. would be Highclere.

Date of next meeting

Mr. R.M. Esbester proposed and Mr. A.Smith seconded that an Autumn Meeting be arranged, and attempts made to reduce the amount of business for the March meeting. This was carried, 11 votes for, against 5. Many members requested that it should not be on the day of the Striking Competition. The General Secretary informed the meeting that no District function was booked for 12th December, and it was agreed to hold a meeting during the afternoon of that day.

Any other business

(a) Mr. F.E. Collins thanked Mrs. Jackson for the refreshments provided, and suggested that members make a donation to the 1st Testwood Guides.

(b) Mr. R.M.Esbester announced that St. James, Southwick was to have a ring of five bells installed in 1981. It was a gift from someone in the parish.

(c) Mr. R.Cater announced that Winchester District are re-issuing their gramophone record "Centenary Bells". It will cost £3-50, plus 50p postage, from Mr. Cater.

(d) Mr. Holdsworth asked if the Executive could discuss the design of the Guild membership badge at its next meeting.

(e) Mr. K.Croft congratulated the Master on successfully chairing a very long meeting.

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