A meeting of the Executive Committee was held on Saturday 19th March 1983, in the Pastoral Centre, The Close, Winchester, at 1405 hours. 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 the 22 members present out of a total, possible membership of 27. She particularly wished to thank everyone for the card sent to Arthur and herself on 10th March 1983, the date of their Silver Wedding, containing the signatures of 350 Guild members.

The following new member was introduced:-

Mr.J.G.Reynolds, convener for Striking Competitions committee.

Apologies for absence

Written apologies were received from Mark Wilson and Lester Bailey, attending the wedding of Rodney Downer, the former sending Miss.C.A.Joyce as his proxy. Also from Mr.Croft, Mrs.Foster and Mr.Holdsworth.

Loss of members through death

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

Mr.L.Noakes (Alton) who, with his brother, the late George Noakes, had combined to give 100 years of service in the ringing of the bells at St.Lawrence.

Honorary Life Members

Mrs.Townsend reported that Mr.F.Mouland, of St.Andrew's, Nether Wallop, has been a member of the Guild for fifty years and therefore would be eligible for life membership at the next A.G.M. In addition, Mr.A.L.Mitchell, of St.Mary's, Andover, had been elected between 1911 and 1915 (in those days names were not recorded in District minutes) and had completed his fifty years membership of the Guild before rule 6 was established. Also, Mr.D.C.Oram, of St.Mary's, Abbots Ann, had been elected in 1931 but, due to lack of meetings during the Second World War, had not paid his subscriptions for a few years during that period. It was agreed that the Executive Committee recommend the election of the latter two gentlemen as Life Members.


Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting held on 11th December 1982 at Totton had been duplicated and circulated by the secretary. The meeting agreed that the Master sign these as correct

Matters arising

(a) The Secretary wished to thank all District Secretaries and Treasurers for complying with rule 15, and sending to the Hon. General Treasurer, before 28th February, District dues and audited balance sheets. Total membership for 1982 was 882, an increase of 1 following the rise in annual subscriptions. He congratulated the Channel Islands District on a 24% increase in membership, Basingstoke, 12% increase and Winchester, 9% increase, and now, numerically, the largest. Unfortunately the Christchurch & Southampton, formerly the largest, had a 20% decrease. Of the 37 members lost, 9 were the Minstead band, and 27 were from Southampton City Centre. Mr.Webster stated that the Minstead band might rejoin this year. Mr.Haythorne stated that 9 City Centre ringers had moved from the area. The Secretary pointed out that, in the two rings of 10 and one ring of 8 in Southampton, there were few ringers and only two Guild members.

(b) Mr.J.K.Foot stated that the injured Bishops Waltham ringer was a Miss Diane Poppy and she had been absent from work for six months. Mr.Murduck asked for further details and was told that the Insurance Company was the Ecclesiastical Insurance Office Ltd., that the claim was through Public Liability, and the maximum cover was for £75000.


(a) The latest copy of the Winchester Diocesan Directory had been received It contained the addresses of Guild Master and Secretary.

(b) As a result of the questionnaire circulated with the 1981 Guild Report, help and instruction was requested by members of the Channel Islands District. Consequently Mr.Le.Marechal, Mr.Colliss, Mr.Niblett, Mr.Sams, Mr. Gillings and Miss Joyce would be organising intensive instruction during the last week of March, full details being sent to the secretary by Mr. Worrall. He also asked for Guild help with travelling expenses for the tutors from the mainland. Mr.Le.Marechal stated that the total cost of travel was £442. After much discussion and several propositions, it was proposed by Mr.Murduck and seconded by Mr.Foot, that we donate £100 towards travelling expenses. This was carried, nem. con. Mr. Cater asked for a report on this instruction to appear in the Report. The Master thanked all those who were involved in helping C.I. District in this way.

(c) A reply from the new Provost of Portsmouth Cathedral indicated that he would be happy to act as Patron of the Guild. He also acknowledged our recommendation that Mr.R.M.Esbester represent us, when so required by Portsmouth Diocesan Advisory Committee.

(d) The Secretary had recently received details from Mr. D.E. Potter concerning the proposed National Open Bell Towers Week, 30th April to 7th May. He had replied that there was insufficient time for this to be discussed by the Guild, and that participation could only be through individual towers taking some action.

(e) Mr.G.Knight, a previous employee of J.Taylor & Co., had circulated details of his services in Bell Engineering.

(f) Mrs.Tarrant, of St. Mary's, Andover, had written to enquire about fees charged by teams for wedding ringing. The Secretary circulated a copy of his reply, containing fees charged by 21 different towers, and encouraged those present to add further information.

Hon. General Secretary's report

This report had been duplicated and circulated with the agendas. The Secretary added the 1982 membership figure, and agreed to amend his eulogy relating to Mr. and Mrs. Nabb. A few members disagreed with the first paragraph, but it was proposed by Mr.Chapman and seconded by Mrs.Salmons that this report appear in the 1982 Guild Report in its present form. This was carried, nem. con.

Hon. General Treasurer's report.

Mr. Colliss circulated copies of the accounts to be printed in the 1982 Guild Report. These were accepted, on the proposition of Mr.Sansom, seconded by Mr.Esbester.

Hon. Peal Recorder's report

Mr. R. Le.Marechal presented the details due for printing in the 1982 Guild Report. He pointed out that, due to the decision made during the 1982 Guild A.G.M., peal number 6939, rung at Liss Campanile on 25th July 1981, was not accepted in the peal analysis. Hence renumbering of peals was necessary from number 6940. He commented on the considerable drop in number of peals from 269 accepted peals in 1981 to 131 peals in 1982. He also pointed out that a peal of Major had been scored upon Liss Campanile on 14 March 1982. This report was accepted, on the proposition of Mr. Reynolds, seconded by Mr. Smith.

Hon. Librarian's report

Mr.Haythorne presented his report, due for printing in the 1982 Guild Report, and also the accounts of the library fund. These were accepted, on the proposition of Cmr.Harris, seconded by Mr.Grant. Mr.Colliss proposed and Mr.Sansom seconded, that the fund be "topped up to £50". This was carried, nem. con.

Mr.Haythorne then outlined his investigations concerning a new location for the library:-

(a) Southampton District Librarian had offered accommodation in a supervised room at Bitterne Manor branch library.

(b) Winchester Divisional Librarian had offered accommodation in a supervised room at Chandlers Ford branch library.

(c) Southampton University would build a new section to their Special Collections department, and could fit in both our library and memorial bookcase.

(d) The memorial bookcase appears to have been built in situ, and will not pass through the trap door in the ringing chamber floor at St. Mary's, Southampton.

After considerable discussion, Mr. Routh volunteered to inspect the bookcase and plan the dismantling. Mr.Esbester proposed and Mr. Smith seconded, that the librarian continues to ventilate the library and pursues investigation with Southampton University Special Collections department. This was carried, nem. con.

Mr.Haythorne stated that he was unable to find any other Guild with its library based elsewhere. The Gen. Secretary stated that he had written to the Central Council Librarian and Secretary, receiving from them the addresses for members of the Surrey Association, Bedfordshire Association, and Essex Association responsible for similar arrangements with their libraries. He was in contact with those members, and also with the Ecclesiastical Insurance Office concerning the implications of the insurance cover if we implemented Mr. Haythorne's proposals.

Guild Public Relations Officer's report

Mr.D.C.Jackson distributed his duplicated report and inventory of items acquired by Mr.G.Nabb. It was proposed by Mr.Sansom and seconded by Mr.Reynolds that this appear in the 1982 Guild Report. This was carried, nem. con. In connection with the National Open Bell Towers week, 30th April to 7th May, members present gave details of towers intending to participate.

New Rule concerning Guild P.R.O.

Following adoption of this rule at the Guild A.G.M., it was necessary to allocate a number to it. It was proposed by Mr.Smith and seconded by Mr.Esbester, that present rule 21 be re-numbered 22, and the new rule numbered 21. This was carried, nem. con.

1982 Guild Report

Cdr.Harris stated that three quotations had been obtained for printing the Guild Report, These were £1411, £880 and £700, the latter being submitted by John Longridge. The three principal officers had exercised the authority given them at the December 1982 Executive Committee Meeting to accept the latter quotation. The editor had again not received details from all districts by the deadline of 28th February, but there was an improvement this year in that all had reached him before the day of the March Executive Committee Meeting. He was, however, concerned over the voluminous data supplied by Mr.Buswell on quarter peals, and the statistics deduced from it. After much discussion, Mr. Collins proposed and Mr. Cater seconded that the Report Editor be allowed to produce the Report to the best of his ability with the full backing of the Executive Committee. This was carried, nem. con.

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

Bells in redundant churches. Restoration work.

Mr. Grant, our representative on the Winchester Diocesan Advisory Committee, reported:-

(a) the 3 bells at St.Margaret's, East Wellow, had been rehung by Whitechapel Bell Foundry for swing chiming only.

(b) the 6 bells from St.Mary's, Sydmonton, had been removed in pieces on Saturday 29th January by members of the Guild, with the authority of the diocesan authorities, and of Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Webber. The bell metal was now in store at Whitechapel Bell Foundry, and it was planned to use this for augmentations of Ecchinswell (3 to 6), of Goodworth Clatford (6 to 8) and of Hursley (8 to 10). However the P.C.C. at Ecchinswell had made representations to the diocesan authorities to be given all the bell metal, and Whitechapel had been ordered to cease any work involving the disputed metal.

The Secretary reported that Mr.Waldron and he had inspected the single bell at the Church of the Resurrection, Eastleigh, and that the diocesan authorities had agreed this be rescued and donated to The Good Shepherd, Four Marks, This was effected on Saturday 29th January.

Bell Restoration Fund.

Mr.Colliss circulated copies of the accounts to be printed in the 1982 Guild Report. The income for the last year was £1289-42 together with a legacy of £2107-52 from the late Mr. and Mrs. Cheater. £145 had been raised during the Open Day organised by Basingstoke district on 12th June, Christchurch and Southampton district would organise the 1983 Open Day on 14th May, while Portsmouth district were contemplating the organisation for 1984. Unfortunately the returns from covenanting were very poor. However he was pleased to announce that the fund that week had passed the £10,000 milestone. Mr.Colliss was complimented upon his sound investments and the considerable interest that had accrued. The accounts were then accepted, on the proposition of Mr.Commins, seconded by Mr.Sansom.

At the meeting of trustees on 4th November, Mr.Esbester had sounded the possibility of producing a Guild pamphlet describing the B.R.F., for diocesan distribution, similar to that produced by the Sussex County Association. Mr.Grant had designed a suitable, specimen pamphlet for they had obtained a quotation of £35 to print 1000 copies. It was suggest that the cost per copy would reduce considerably if 5000 or 10000 were printed, and it was proposed by Cdr.Harris, seconded by Mr.Cater, that a group of people, led by Mr. Esbester, continue their investigations, liaising with the Hon. General Treasurer and the Guild Public Relations Officer. This was carried, nem. con.

The Secretary stated that he had received requests for grants from All Saints, Basingstoke, St. Peter's, Bournemouth, St. Andrew's, Hurstbourne Priors, and from St. Nicolas, North Stoneham. Mr.Colliss stated that requests would probably also be received from St. Mary's, Micheldever, and St.Barnabas, Swanmore. All requests would be considered by the trustees before the Guild A.G.M.

Insurance sub-committee

This sub-committee had met on Monday 7th March to consider deliberation at each Annual District Meeting on this matter. Mr.Foot circulated copies of the committee's findings, and introduced these briefly and clearly. All districts support the three forms of insurance i.e. Personal Accident cover, Maintenance/Inspection cover, and Public Liability cover, but all evolved problems or questions that needed resolution. A long time was spent on discussions concerning the implications. Learners could not be covered unless members of the Guild, minuted in Guild records, and there was considerable argument over the desirability of introducing a probationary membership and tower election procedures. To resolve an impasse, it was proposed by the Secretary, and seconded by Mr.Smith, that we consider only insurance for elected members, and, on the agenda for the A.G.M. place details of the forms of cover, together with the total premium, and propose that insurance as outlined on the attached schedule be effected for members of this Guild with effect from 1st January 1984. On being put to the vote, 12 voted for this proposition, 3 voted against, and there were 6 abstentions. Strong feelings were expressed that members of the Guild belonging to churches providing adequate cover would be unable to opt out of the umbrella cover and rise in subscriptions. Mr. Foot was asked to discover how probationers were at present covered by a church's standard insurance.

Central Council Graded Assessments

Mr. Smith stated that, following the decision made at the December 1982 Executive Committee Meeting, a representative of the Education sub-committee had attended Annual Districts Meetings to provide publicity for these assessments. To date only Andover band had applied for assessment, and two members, Nicola Wilkins and Michael Bull, had achieved grade 3. Mr.Cater commented that they were the first in the U.K. (and the first in the World!) to achieve a grade, and it was hoped that they could attend the 1983 Central Council Meeting at Lichfield to receive their certificates. (The latter are currently being designed by Mr.Grant)

Mr.Smith also gave the meeting a summary of the few replies received on the questionnaires issued to each member with the 1981 Report. This summary will be printed in the 1982 Guild Report.

Portsmouth Diocesan Pilgrimage to Canterbury

Mrs.Salmons reported that this will take place on Monday 30th May. Ringing will be organised by Mr.Mather at the four rings of bells, with a quarter-peal attempt at the Cathedral prior to the service. To date 37 Portsmouth district ringers had expressed interest, 12 from Petersfield and 5 from the Isle of Wight.

Guild A.G.M.

This will take place at Hambledon on Saturday 2nd July 1983. Mrs Salmons reported that arrangements were in hand.

Date of next meeting

It was agreed that the traditional, third Saturday in March meeting be maintained, and this would occur on Saturday 17th March 1984. Another Autumn meeting was also requested and the Secretary announced that most Saturdays were already booked for District or Guild events. Since the 19th November was free of commitments it was agreed we meet on that day, and Mrs. Cater agreed to book the Pastoral Centre again.

Any other business

(a) It was announced that Mr.P.Taylor was making progress on his book "Towers and Bells of Hampshire"

(b) Mr. Colliss announced his change of address from 1st April.

(c) Miss Joyce suggested that it would be valuable to appoint a Membership Secretary who would be responsible for a current list of all Ringing Members, of all Compounding Members with date of election, and a record of years of membership, Mr. Barnsdale also had some valuable ideas concerning such a Guild Officer. The Master requested Miss Joyce to prepare some terms of reference and present these at the next Executive Committee meeting.

(d) Mrs. Cater stated that tickets for the Guild Luncheon on the Isle of Wight, due on Saturday 21st May, were selling, well in southern parts of the Guild. A Barn Dance has been arranged on Saturday 8th October at Montgomery School, Winchester.

(e) Mr. Webster offered copies of the ringing arrangements for the Open Day in the Christchurch and Southampton district on Saturday 14th May.

(f) Mr. Cater stated that new copies of the Winchester District record "Centenary Bells" were now available from the second pressing.

(g) Mr. Reynolds stated that, up-to-date, no entries had been received for the 8-bell or the Inter-District striking competitions due on Saturday 30th April at Whitchurch.

The Master closed the meeting, with prayers, at 1815 hours.