A meeting of the Executive Committee was held on Saturday 12th December 1981 in the headquarters of the 1st Testwood Guide Company, behind Testwood Church, Totton, at 1410 hours. 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 offered a very warm welcome on an extremely cold day to members who had braved the deep snow and icy roads. The following new members were introduced:-

Mr.G.Nabb, Guild Public Relations Officer; Mrs. G.Cater, Convenor of Social sub-committee.

Apologies for absence

Miss B. Weaver and Mr. I. Holdsworth were unable to leave Basingstoke due to dangerous road conditions. Mrs. P.E. Nabb was required at home, following the recent birth of Lucy Sarah. It was later learnt that. Cdr. W.A. Harris, Mr. R.H. Routh, and Mr. K.Sansom spent the afternoon in their car, victims of the bad weather.

Loss of members through death

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

Mr. K.J. Cook, O.B.E. (Lymington & Brockenhurst); Mr. S. Moody (Newport); Mr. R. Nicholson (Minstead)


Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting held on 21st March 1981 at Testwood had been duplicated and circulated by the Secretary at the Guild A.G.M. Mr. Hartless pointed out a discrepancy of £1 in the profit made from the 1980 Guild Draw. The sum £581-80 was corrected to £580-80. The meeting then agreed that the Master sign the corrected minutes as correct.

Matters arising

(a) The church and new bells had been dedicated at Yateley on 21st Nov. 1981. The Master had attended the dedication, and recommended the booklet published by the P.C.C. to commemorate the fund raising. We would soon be receiving a request for the promised grant from the Bell Restoration Fund. The Master also commented that she had attended the dedication at Southwick on 1st November 1981. Here the 4 had been rehung and augmented to 5, all the cost being raised locally. Mr. J.Hartless asked if there was any news of the bells and church of St. Paul’s, Bournemouth. The Master replied that the church was still standing, in the centre of a large, bull-dozed area, and that services were being maintained.

(b) The Secretary had written to the Editor of “The Ringing World” concerning hoax peals. He was asked to read the carbon copy to the meeting.

(c) The Secretary had received a reply from Mr.M.H.D. O’Callaghan, treasurer of the C.C. Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells. This too he read to the meeting.


The following had been received from the Hon. Secretary of the C.C.:-

(a) Information leaflet describing the services provided by the Towers and Belfries Committee. Photocopies of this had been provided by the Guild Secretary for each District Secretary. Mr. J.Hartless is our local representative from this committee.

(b) Copy of a letter sent to all Diocesan Furnishing Officers requesting consideration for the local Guild when redundant bells require new homes.

(c) Lists of all churches declared redundant in our two dioceses since 1969. Photocopies of these had been provided by the Guild Secretary for each trustee of the B.R. Fund, and further action was underway.

(d) A directory of Public Relations Officers throughout the Exercise. A photocopy had been passed to our Guild P.R.O.

(e) A copy of the report by the C.C. Insurance sub-committee. Photocopies of these had been provided by the Guild Secretary for each member of our Guild sub-committee.

The following had been received from the Education Committee of the C.C.:-

(a) Details of the film “The Birth Of A Bell”, encouraging Guilds to purchase it for £70 and then hire it out at £5 a hiring. Both Mr. Nabb and Mr. Esbester pointed out that we should need to view it first. There was always a chance that the C.C. might operate a hiring scheme. Mr. Croft thought that its value lay in its suitability for a non-ringing audience as well, and after 14 hirings the Guild would start to make a profit. He proposed, and Mr. Chapman seconded, that we try to view this film at the March Executive Committee Meeting. This was agreed, nem. con. Mr. Esbester asked if District Secretaries could advertise this film and check how many members might hire it. The Secretary suggested that he send photocopies of the details to all District Secretaries and ask for possible hirings at their A.D.Ms. Mr. Cater proposed and Mr. Grant seconded that we pay a £5 hire charge to view this film, offering to pay another £65 if we wish to purchase it. This was carried, nem. con.

(b) A letter from Mr. Tyler in connection with graded assessments tests in ringing proposed at the 1981 C.C. Meeting. Our Guild was invited to participate in a pilot scheme. Mr. Cater pointed out that there was enthusiasm for this idea at the main C.C. Meeting, that there had been considerable correspondence on the matter in “The Ringing World”, that it was mainly intended to encourage younger learners, and that the idea did originate from Mr. A. York Bramble of Portsmouth through the College of Campanology. There was much discussion on this item, Messrs. Collins, Esbester, Jackson, Smith and Foot contributing. It was proposed by Mr. Esbester and seconded by Mr. Foot that the General Secretary be asked to act as Guild Representative, and attend the meetings concerned with the pilot scheme.

(c) Details of the 1982 C.C. Ringing Course based at Lacock, near Chippenham, Wiltshire. Mr. Cater requested that members of the Guild be informed, and the Secretary suggested that he send photocopies to all District Secretaries before their A.D.Ms. There was considerable discussion concerning Guild sponsorship of students. Mr. Colliss proposed and Mr. Collins seconded that the Guild does not financially sponsor students for this ringing school. This was agreed, nem. con.

Letters had also been received from:-

(i) Andover Appeal Secretary, thanking the Guild for the £100 donation.

(ii) Mr. Downer, stating that the Niton band were hoping to augment their 5 bells to 6. Mr. Downer gave further information about this. £1300 is needed for rehanging, and another £2300 for augmentation.

(iii) Mr. B.J.Fry, stating that he had been misrepresented at the last Executive Committee Meeting.

Education sub-committee

Mr. Cater stated that the 1981 events had produced an overall financial loss of £16-19, and this had been deducted from the committee’s £50 grant. Mr. Esbester pointed out that the committee must either charge more or keep the cost low, encourage participation, and risk this kind of loss. The meeting felt that this amount of loss was quite acceptable, and encouraged the committee to follow Mr. Esbester’s second suggestion.

Mr. Cater gave details of the 1982 plans. Ringing School 8th May; Handbell Ringing course 10th July; Maintenance course 2nd October. He distributed advertisements for the former to District Secretaries, pleading that they pass them on to every band at the A.D.M. Some bands were still not receiving information. Miss Hartless and Mrs. Salmons both stated that certain tower correspondents do not pass on information to their members, and that devious methods are needed to make contact.

Mr. Smith stated that the committee ought to find out what Guild members really needed or desired, and he had produced an aid for this quest. Copies of a document were circulated and methods of distribution were discussed. Miss Hartless and Mr. Hartless were enthusiastic and encouraged distribution via Guild Reports, with an S.A.E. for every band to encourage participation. There was general agreement on this.

Mr. Bailey spoke of the difficulty I.O.W. members experienced in attending courses. It could cost them about £20, and took them a long time. Mr. Cater offered to base a course on the island if the members requested one.

Guild Public Relations Officer

Mr. Nabb gave a detailed account of his actions since the Guild A.G.M. A three-page letter had been sent to every District Secretary, containing suggestions and requesting information. He stressed that value of keeping bell ringing activities constantly in the public eye, particularly at District level in all Parish Magazines. Small items about every event should regularly appear, and hence he particularly commended the appointment of District P.R.Os. to circulate such information. I.O.W. District were the first to make such an appointment.

He had written to all local newspapers, radio and T.V. stations in the Guild area. We had received good newspaper coverage on the 1000th. peal by Messrs. Colliss and Le Marechal, the 80th birthday of Mr. F.E. Collins, and on the 6 bell striking competition. Radio Solent had arranged for Mr. Cater to give a 7 minute item on ringing on Monday 15th November. The T.V. programme “South Today” had requested the filming of bell-ringing to precede the local news each day of Christmas week, and Mr. Collins had agreed to arrange this at Ringwood. Mr. Bailey informed the meeting that, as a result of these contacts, the local press had appeared during a quarterly meeting held at Godshill. The item in the Press resulted in an invitation to address the Society for Preservation of Church Bells at Ventnor. This was reported in a further three, local newspapers, and he has been invited to give a further talk at Cowes and arrange a window display in Newport. Mr. Esbester proposed, and Mr. Foot seconded, that each District Secretary forwards to the Guild P.R.O., after their next A.D.M., the name of someone responsible for publicising District activities. This was carried, nem. con.

Referring to his “job specification”, Mr. Nabb stated that No. 4 required him to build up a publicity display. It would be necessary to purchase cassettes, pamphlets, illustrated dusters, method sheets, etc. He had spoken to the librarian, whom he knows well, about this and they had concluded that these items would best be stored in the library, available on loan. No. 6 required Mr. Nabb to build up a bookstall and make this available at ringing events. He foresaw that this would be even more expensive than No. 4, and asked for guidance. Mr. Colliss stated that we had no money and suggested that guidance be bridled until the March Executive Meeting, following the payment of subscriptions.

No. 5 requires Mr. Nabb to prepare a list of those prepared and able to give talks and/or displays about bellringing. He requested help from District Secretaries in the compilation. No. 11 concerns a Guild Newsletter, but he was not regarding this as a priority. It was necessary first to discover a Guild member with production and printing skills.

No. 2 requires Mr. Nabb to provide assistance for the publicity of District events. He suggested that, unless they wished otherwise, Districts make their own arrangements and remain independent. After much discussion Mr. Jackson proposed and Mr. Hartless seconded this suggestion. This was agreed unanimously.

A short break for tea followed at this point, after which the Master proposed a vote of thanks to Mrs. Jackson.

1982 Executive Meeting

Since the Testwood Guide H.Q. is not available on 20th March there was some discussion on date and venue. Mrs. Cater offered to book the St. Lawrence hall in Colebrook Street, Winchester, for 20th March, and this was agreed after specifying a 2 p.m. start.

Social sub-committee

Mrs. Cater stated that the 1982 Dinner would be held on 1st May in the private suite of the Potters Heron Hotel, Ampfield. Tickets costing £7-25 should be obtained from Mrs. Cater. Three free tickets would be provided for the guest speaker, spouse, and “Ringing World” editor. An informal event would also be arranged for October 1982.

Insurance sub-committee

Mr. Nabb reported that the committee had considered:-

(a) Public Liability Cover. This would insure the Guild against considerable claims from Guild or lay members.

(b) Personal Accident Cover. Most churches have cover providing £10 a week. This was only a small sum now-a-days, and we hoped to find an economically suitable cover for members.

The Guild Secretary had been asked to make various enquiries, and these were now complete. The sub-committee would meet again and make recommendations.

Possible alteration of rules specifying subscriptions

Mr. Colliss proposed and Mr. Croft seconded that we do not alter such rules again until it is necessary to change our membership fees. This was lost, 6 votes for, 7 votes against. Mrs. Salmons proposed and Mr. Esbester seconded that wording of these changes of rule be submitted to the secretary for consideration at the March Executive Meeting. This was carried unanimously.

Rule 6

The Guild A.G.M. had referred the re-wording of the proposed change back to the Executive. Mr. Smith proposed and Mr. Bailey seconded the following wording “… provided there is a majority of members present, and subject to confirmation at the next meeting of the district in which the election took place. In the case of elections outside the Diocesan areas, the election may be confirmed at the next meeting of any District. In addition, the persons …” This was agreed, nem. con.

Guild Membership Badges

In the absence of Mr. Holdsworth this item was transferred to the March agenda.

Guild Draw for Bell Restoration Fund

The secretary had duplicated the accounts on the reverse side of the agendas. The profit was £221-61 and Mr. Jackson had passed this on to the Treasurer. He asked that copies of the accounts be made available at A.D.Ms., and also announced that he had cancelled the Guild’s lottery licence with the New Forest District Council. Mr. Esbester announced that beer glasses were now being produced, and he was awaiting delivery of 600 half pint and 400 one pint glasses. The former would sell at 80p each and the latter at £1, and a profit of £400 was anticipated. Mr Colliss announced that Mr. Jackson could arrange the production of bell shaped key rings bearing the Guild insignia, which could be sold at 25p to produce a profit. Mr. Cater proposed and Mr. Collins seconded that 500 be produced. This was carried by 13 votes against 2. The secretary announced that there were still 50 Guild coffee mugs unsold from the 150 ordered by Mr. Fry. Mr. Smith proposed and Mr. Cater seconded that these now be reduced to £1 each to clear the stock. This was carried, nem. con.

Any Other Business

(a) Miss Hartless said that she had seen in “The Echo” that three Southampton churches were being made redundant, and asked if anyone knew the position regarding the bells. Mr. Croft stated that all three were in the twelve month waiting period and that no-one could touch the bells. The secretary stated that this was not quite correct. He had contacted the Redundant Churches Uses Committee and had been asked to arrange for inspection of these bells before the end of the waiting period, with a view to their transfer to Goodworth Clatford to assist augmentation. Apart from St. Luke’s, St. Augustine’s and St. Peter’s, he had been asked to also inspect St. Mark’s, Southampton, and The Resurrection, Eastleigh. It was believed that only single bells are involved.

(b) Mr. Colliss asked that money from District Secretaries and for the Bell Restoration Fund should be forwarded to him before the end of the year in order that he could get the accounts done promptly. Mr. Hartless asked if we were in serious financial straits. Mr. Colliss said that we might need to use some of the reserve fund.

(c) Mr. Cater asked for dates of the striking competitions. These were given as:-

8 bell competition on 15th May. 6 bell competition on 16th October.

(d) Mr. Bailey suggested a lunch on the Isle of Wight, perhaps in conjunction with ringing, instead of a Guild Dinner. Mr. Croft supported this suggestion. Mrs. Cater said that she would go back to the Social Committee with the suggestion and that they would give it consideration.

(e) Mr. Croft thanked the Master for chairing the meeting.

The Master closed the meeting, with prayers, at 1720 hours.