A meeting of the Executive Committee was held on Saturday 19th November 1983 in St. Faith's Hall, St. Cross, Winchester, at 1400 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 welcomed the 22 members present out of a total, possible membership of 27. She asked that District representatives, when they present their reports at their next District Meetings, make a point of passing on her thanks to all individual members, not only for their support at momentous events with magnificent publicity, but also for the loyalty of those who diligently assist with regular, Sunday service ringing, i.e. the raison d'etre for our Guild. In addition Mrs. Davis was pleased that our Guild had received approbation from beyond our customary domains. At the consecration of the Sacred Heart ring of six on 30th October, she had represented the Guild at the ceremony performed by the Roman Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth. Our Guild has participated in the preparation of tapes recorded for the Dorset Association for the Handicapped, and the B.B.C. has recorded East Meon bells for an extra item concerned with talking books for the blind.

Apologies for absence

Written apologies were received from Messrs. Croft and Foot. Telephoned apologies had been received from Mr. Webster and Mrs. Foster. It was announced that Mr. Murduck had that week been involved in a serious car accident and was seriously ill in hospital. Mr.M.Goss was present as proxy.

Loss of members through death

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

Mr.H.Harrison (Life member, Sopley); Miss E.Hayter, aged 10 (Catherington); Mr.E.Hedger (Life member, Alton); Mr.W.Rawles (Upham).

Honorary Life Members.

Mrs. B.Salmons reported that Mr.R.Cockle of Bishops Waltham, and Mrs.J.Hall of Hambledon, have both been members of this Guild for over fifty years, and therefore would be eligible for life membership at the next A.G.M. Mr. Arthur Davies of Curdridge would, the following week, be celebrating 50 years of ringing at Curdridge tower. Mrs. Salmons proposed that he too be elected a Life Member, since he had definitely been a member of the Guild for 48 years, but the records do not show clearly his actual date of election. After some discussion Mrs. Salmons was asked to approach Mr.Davies, ascertain his period of membership, and report back to the March Executive meeting.

The Secretary wished to clarify the pattern for recording such members in the Guild Report and the responsibility for ensuring that such members receive a Report annually. All are listed at the front of the Report, and some districts also record them under a specific tower, with (L.M.) following their name. Other districts do not include such members' names, and they receive neither Report nor ringing information. After considerable discussion it was agreed that all resident Life Members would continue to appear in the list at the front of the Report AND also under a District, either attached to a tower, or listed under unattached, with (L.M.) following their name(s). District Secretaries would be responsible for this, and for distributing Reports and information to them. Circulation of non-resident Life Members would be the responsibility of the Guild Secretary.

Alterations to information in the Guild Report

The Secretary circulated duplicated details of such alterations.


Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting held on 19th March 1983 at Winchester had been duplicated and circulated by the Secretary. Mr. Smith stated that he had proposed the deletion of the first part of the Secretary's report, and Mr. Cater stated that he had seconded this, though the motion was lost by a large majority. Mr.Le Marechal pointed out that the peal of Major at Liss Campanile had been rung on 14 March 1982. Following suitable corrections by the Secretary it was agreed that the Master sign the Minutes as correct, on the proposition of Mr.Smith, seconded by Mr. Le Marechal.

Matters arising

(a) The Secretary read a letter from Mr. Croft relating to the proposed removal of the library from St. Mary's belfry. He suggested that written agreement should be drafted and signed by both sides. Mr.Smith wished to question Mr. Croft's membership of the Executive Committee, since, following the 1983 Trienniel elections, Mrs.Davis was the only immediate past Master. The Chairman stated that this Guild followed tradition in this matter.

(b) The Secretary had compiled a final list of information concerning wedding fees charged by various bands of ringers. Copies were available.

(c) The Secretary had received copies of the reports written following the instruction organised in the Channel Islands District during March 1983.

(d) Mr. Esbester reported that the pamphlet describing the Guild Bell Restoration Fund was being drafted. He also proposed the re-designing of the covenant forms, to include a question and answer page, and to enable monthly payments to be part of the scheme. He suggested that the redesigned forms be included in the 1983 Guild Report to encourage more members to covenant to the BRF. Mr. Smith also spoke for the adoption of this action, stating that very few members had been persuaded to be involved, and he particularly objected that some members of the Guild Executive did not covenant to this Fund. Cmr. Harris objected to this last remark on behalf of all members, and stated that Mr. Esbester was overlooking the stock of several thousand of the old covenant forms. Mr. Esbester's suggestion that the latter be "written off" was not accepted, and it was finally agreed that the question and answer page be included in the next Report, together with copies of the old covenant forms.

(e) Mr. Bailey commented upon the Hon. Librarian's report. He stated that the Guild bookcase was not built "in situ". It was assembled in sections, at Newport, by Mr. Arthur Wyatt (Mr. Bailey's cousin) and transported to Southampton for final assembly.

(f) Mr. Colliss also commented upon the Librarian's report. He was still waiting to hear how much money was required to "top-up" the fund to £50.


(a) The Secretary circulated copies of details sent to Mr.Viggers for printing in the 1984 "Ringers' Diary".

(b) Letters of appreciation had been received from Messrs. Oram and Mouland, elected to Life Membership in July 1983.

(c) Letters of thanks had been received from All Saints, Basingstoke, St. Barnabas, Swanmore, and SS. Peter and Paul, Hambledon, following the award of grants to these churches from our B.R.F.

(d) Duplicated letters had been sent to all Guilds by "The Ringing World" sub-committee, explaining that for every ringer taking out a year's postal subscription before June 1984, £3 would be donated by the subcommittee to the appropriate B.R.F. The Secretary suggested that he make this the subject of his talk at Annual District Meetings in 1984.

(e) The convener of the Central Council Peals analysis Committee had written, stating his intention to omit from the committee's records the peal rung on the Liss Campanile (R.W. 3762, page 453) and the peal of Grandsire Triples rung at Portsea on 11th June 1983 (R.W. 3770, page 628). Much correspondence ensued over the latter, a 50th anniversary peal rung by the local band, conducted by Mr.E.Salmons while not actually ringing. Mrs. Salmons explained that Ernie's health was not up to participation in peals, but he had rescued an almost non-existent band at Portsea and built it up as the leading quarter-peal group in the Guild. Mr.Smith explained that the C.C. Rules and Decisions did permit acceptance of such peals when there were extenuating circumstances. Mr.Cater pointed out that he was a Guild C.C. representative, not a delegate, was not bound by any decision of the Guild and hence he objected to a vote being taken on this matter. The chairman agreed and suggested that a show of hands replace a vote. The majority indicated their support for the Portsea peal, and no-one indicated their opposition.

Covenanting of Guild Subscriptions

The Secretary had received a considerable amount of information about this from the Peterborough Diocesan Guild. He suggested that he and the Treasurer study this information and report back to the March meeting. This was agreed.

Meeting Rota

The Secretary had circulated copies of this to District Secretaries prior to the March meeting, but this item had been "held over". Mr.Smith thought that this printed rota was unworkable. The Winchester District secretary thought that, in this Guild, Districts were autonomous, and it should be left to their members to arrange the nature and the dates of their events, so that they only need to avoid clashing with Guild events. He proposed, and Cmr. Harris seconded, that the dates of A.D.Ms. and Guild events be fixed before the proceeding December and that the Guild Secretary notifies District Secretaries of these dates. This was carried unanimously.

Guild Membership Secretary

Miss Joyce was not present to speak on this matter and Mr. Barnsdale was unable to attend due to another engagement. However Mr. Barnsdale had produced some terms of reference and posted them to the Secretary. Mr. Jackson had received several requests this year to trace membership, including that for Mr.A.L.Mitchell, Mr.M.Northway, and Mr.P.Noakes. He discovered that there is no record of members in 4 bell towers before the 1970s, and no record of membership during the Second World War, nor during the period 1916 to 1925.

The Master pointed out that there were two alternatives. The creation of a new Guild Officer would require a change of rule, could not be effected until an Annual General Meeting and the seven months with no action could dampen Mr. Barnsdale's ardour and enthusiasm. The alternative was to implement rule 4 and co-opt a Guild Member onto the Executive to carry out this specific task, starting immediately. In answer to a question from Mr.Smith, the Master pointed out that it was necessary that the appointee be a member of the Executive so that he/she could effect the mantle of authority when delving into a District's records, Mr.Cater agreed with the compilation of retrospective information but was of the opinion that the gleaning of current information could only result in District Secretaries being inundated with extra tasks. After some argument on this point it was proposed by Mr.Smith and seconded by Mr.Esbester that Mr.Barnsdale be co-opted to the Executive under rule 4 and invited to implement his terms of reference. This was carried unanimously. The Master requested the Secretary to write to Mr. Barnsdale, thanking him, and requesting that he contacts one of the officers to outline his modus operandi.

Librarian's Deputy

Mr.Haythorne had made approaches to Mr.N.White and he had been only too pleased to co-operate. Mr.Haythorne introduced the new deputy to the meeting, explaining that they were at present operating jointly, but he hoped soon to relinquish the reins.

A short break for tea followed at this point, after which the Master thanked Mrs. Cater on behalf of those present.

Bells in redundant churches. Restoration work

Mr.Grant, our representative on the Winchester Diocesan Advisory Committee, reported that the augmentation at All Saints, Deane, was complete and that the dedication service took place on Sunday 3rd July 1983.

Mr.Esbester, whom we had proposed as our representative on the Portsmouth Diocesan Advisory Committee, reported that the committee were in fact using Mr.G.Elphick of the Sussex Association as their adviser. He had commended the plans for the transfer of 8 bells from Holy Trinity, Gosport, to St. Mark's, Wootton, and the erection of a tower at Wootton for the installation of the bells. The Portsmouth District secretary had received a letter from Milton Keynes taking if they could have the Gosport octave, but she would write to inform the correspondent that the bells were committed. Mr.Wilson stated that Portsmouth D.A.C. had approved the transfer at their September meeting and the design for the proposed tower was on show at the meeting of the Society for Preservation of Church Bells.

Mr.Esbester reminded the meeting that the single bell from St.John, Rudmore, is destined to be used at the Church Centre of Park Gate North, However it is still mounted in the original building, and the firm who own the premises have now gone into liquidation. Although the firm were aware that the bell would be removed at a convenient time, the liquidator may decide that it is part of seized assets.

Mr.Bailey informed the meeting that the bellfounders had been invited to tender for the restoration of the six bells at Freshwater. In addition Mr.P.Miller had now made his home at Niton and consequently had revived the plans to augment the 5 bells to 6.

The Secretary announced that the new ring of 6 bells at The Sacred Heart, Bournemouth, would be dedicated on Thursday 8th December 1983. All Saints, Whitchurch, were planning, improvements to their ringing chamber. He had been approached for advice over the single bell from the demolished church of St. Mark's, Southampton, but the demolition firm had ignored all advice and dropped the bell from roof to ground. Finally St.Pierre du Bois on Guernsey has a change of personnel concerned with the installation of a ring of bells. The Secretary and Master had met these good folk while attending the Channel Islands A.D.M., had placed them in contact with the Central Council Redundant Bells Committee, and, as a result, had been offered the redundant ring of 10 from St. Catherine's, Feltham.

Mr.Waldron had written concerning the expenses he had incurred from his involvement with the rescue of (a) the three bells from Portsmouth Naval Dockyard (b) the single bells from St.Peter's, Southampton (c) the ring of six from St.Mary's, Sydmonton. The authorities at The Sacred Heart would be despatching £25-60 to Mr.Waldron to cover the first item. It was proposed by Cmr. Harris and seconded by Mr. Grant that the Guild send £14-80 to Mr.Waldron to cover the second item. There was considerable argument over action to be invoked on the last item. Mr.Grant proposed and Mr.Cater seconded that the Guild do not approach the parish over the matter of finance incurred with the removal of Sydmonton bells. 2 voted for and 15 against. The Master asked if the meeting would therefore agree that she, the Secretary, and Mr.Waldron combine to sort out a suitable course of action.

Guild A.G.M.

Only Mr.S.Piper had responded to the Master's appeal at Hambledon to suggest alternative arrangements for this meeting each July. He had forwarded a programme for the Kent County Association A.G.M. The meeting was informed that the Essex Association operate a similar programme. Mr. Smith suggested that, as an active Guild, we do have considerable business to cover, and that splitting the meeting for service and tea seemed a good arrangement. He also asked if the report of the Central Council Meeting could not be dropped from the agenda. Mr.Cater stated that we should be like other Guilds and hold more than one general meeting.

Reports from conveners of sub-committees

(a) Striking Competitions.

Mr.A.T.Collins presented details due for printing in the 1983 Guild Report. This was accepted on the proposition of Cmr.Harris, seconded by Mr.Chapman. Mr.Collins outlined the new ideas the committee had evolved. At the inter-district striking competition the test piece would now be the 160 changes of Plain Bob Major. The committee plan to hold the competition on 19th May at Deane, inviting Mr.R.C.Kippin to act as judge. To avoid the bad weather encountered during October, it was planned to hold the Six Bell Competition on the fourth Saturday in June in future, and on 22nd June 1984 they hoped to use Broughton as the venue, inviting Mr.W.Butler to act as judge. A new rule would be introduced so that teams wishing to change their position after the draw can only do so if they find a complete team wishing to exchange with them, as well as seeking approval from the sub-committee. Finally it was planned to introduce a triennial, inter-district, 10 Bell Competition, to be staged in the year of the Guild trienniel elections.

(b) Social.

Mrs.Cater read her report on the Guild Luncheon and ringing day organised on the Isle of Wight for the 21st May 1983, and on the Barn Dance held on 8th October at Montgomery School, Winchester. This report was accepted on the proposition of Mr.Sansom, seconded by Mr.F.E.Collins.

An electric urn had been ordered by the committee, to be purchased from profits made on social functions to date. It was also the intention of the committee to remain activated until the finale of the Guild Dinner on 14th April 1984, helping the new committee to gradually adopt the mantle of responsibility.

(c) Education.

Mr. Smith presented details for printing in the 1983 Guild Report, and his report was accepted on the proposition of Mr.White, seconded by Mr.Haythorne.

The 1984 Ringing School would be held at Eastleigh on Sunday 12th May, but because of the demand in 1983 would cater only for students requiring Plain Hunting or Bob Doubles. The maintenance course was planned for Saturday 29th September. Mr.Esbester pointed out that names of participants at the 1983 Ringing School had not been circulated to District Officers to facilitate a suitable sequel. He was assured this would be effected in 1984.

Insurance proposals

The Master stated that the Ecclesiastical Insurance Office were causing difficulties in the settlement of the claim resulting from the accident at Bishops Waltham. Until it was clear that ringing accidents were fully covered there was little point in using the Guild's money to undertake insurance that was ineffective. In the absence of Mr.Foot there were no further details available. Mr.Haythorne stated that the Central Council ought to debate the conditions of insurance claims and clarify the situation.

1984 Executive Committee Meeting

The date, Saturday 17th March 1984, had been previously agreed. Those present asked that the venue be Winchester. The Master requested Mrs. Cater to locate a suitable venue, to book it and then inform the Secretary. Mr. Esbester requested that, as the routine of two Executive Committee Meetings was established, could the Secretary use the heading "Next Executive Committee Meeting" on the Agenda?

Any Other Business

(a) Mr.Cater explained his activities as Guild P.R.O. since his election at the July A.G.M. He had contacted all the District Press Officers and explained that all District events should receive publicity locally by District members. That Guild Events be covered by members of the appropriate committee, or by the P.R.O. if they wished. To date only the Striking Competitions sub-committee had utilised his talents. The Guild A.G.M. would be covered by the P.R.O. He would like to be kept informed of all events by those concerned. For publicity displays he was utilising the prowess of Mr.Grant to design diversified illustrations of our activities, suitable for reproduction and display in multifarious localities.

(b) Mr.Cater wished to advertise the Winchester District Meeting for Saturday 26 November. This would be followed by an entertainment containing a plethora of exemplary talent.

(c) Mr.Le Marechal pointed out that the instruments at Liss Campanile have been replaced by bell-shaped devices, cast specially in clay. He had with him a recording of this latest campanile sound. He suggested that the Central Council might now be prepared to accept peals scored upon these instruments. Mr.Cater reiterated his involvement in activities preceding the Central Council Meeting. A purposeful video recording might persuade members to cognize the worth of this campanile.

(d) Cmr.Harris is holding a number of 1982 Guild Reports surplus to his requirements. These are available to District Secretaries for distribution to newly elected, Guild members.

(e) The Secretary warned members that his address might change in the next month.

The Master closed the meeting, with prayers, at 1740 hours.