MINUTES OF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING March 1984

A meeting of the Executive Committee was held on Saturday 17th March 1984, in the St. Lawrence Parish Rooms, Colebrook Street, 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, welcomed the 22 members present out of a total, possible membership of 28, and introduced the following, new members:-

Mr.Andrew Barnsdale- Guild Membership Secretary.
Miss Ann Bennett- Proxy for convenor of Social sub-committee (Mrs. E. Chapman)
Mrs. Mary Gilbert- Alton and Petersfield District Secretary.
Mr. Jamie Broad- Proxy for Andover District Secretary (Mrs. B. Townsend)
Mr. Roger Knight- Andover District representative
Mr. Andrew Case- Portsmouth District Secretary.
Mr. Hugh Hill- Winchester District Secretary.

The Master thanked all members who had accepted office during the elections at 1984 Annual District Meetings, and stressed the importance of the introduction of "new blood" as Guild and District officers.

Apologies for absence

Written apologies were received from Messrs. Croft and Inman. A telephoned apology was received from Mr.R.H.Routh (in Northumberland), and an apology was made on behalf of Mr. Cater as a result of an unexpected, family emergency.

Loss of members through death

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

Mr.H.R.M.Marshall (Life member, Havant); Mr.H.A.Mitchell (Life member, St. John's, Bournemouth); Mr.P.Murduck (Kingsclere); Mr.J.Naylor (Soberton); Mr. and Mrs. C.Osler (Life members, Bramley); Mrs.E.Scott (Alverstoke); Mr.A.Sherfield (Bentley).

Honorary Life Members

Mr.Case reported that Mr.Harold Dudman, of Soberton tower, was elected a member on 20th January 1934 and therefore is eligible for Life Membership. It is believed that Mr. Arthur Davis, of Curdridge tower, was elected at a District Meeting during 1934, but the Minutes record only numbers of electees. It was agreed that we accept the recommendation of the last Portsmouth District Quarterly Meeting and assume that Mr. Davis has completed his 50 years of membership. Mr.Holdsworth reported that Mr.R.Hassell, of Overton tower, has been a member for over 50 years, elected as a member of Laverstoke tower when it was part of Andover District. The Minute books of this District also record numbers rather than names, and it is not possible to confirm the election of Mr.Hassell. He commenced ringing at the age of 12, and is now 80. The meeting agreed that we should propose the election of Mr. R.Hassell as a Life Member.

Alterations to information in the 1982 Guild Report

There were many alterations of District personnel following the elections at Annual District Meetings. The Secretary had duplicated this information, and he circulated copies to those present.

Minutes

Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting held on 19th November 1983 at St. Cross had been duplicated and circulated by the Secretary. The spelling of Mr.A.Davis was corrected. Cdr.Harris pointed out that he had a stock of "a" thousand, old, covenant forms, and the word "several" was then corrected. The meeting agreed that the Master sign the amended Minutes, on the proposition of Cdr.Harris, seconded by Mr.Grant.

Matters arising

(a) The Secretary had duplicated dates of A.D.Ms. and of Guild Events, and had circulated these to District Secretaries, as requested. In a spare space he had added the terms of reference for the Guild Membership Secretary.

(b) The Secretary had written to Mr. Barnsdale concerning his co-option to the Executive, and Andrew was present at this meeting.

(c) A letter of thanks had been received from Mr. Waldron, following arrival of cheques from the Guild Treasurer and from the authorities of The Sacred Heart, Bournemouth.

(d) The Master reported that she had visited the Rev. Jardine over the matter of Sydmonton bells, and the expenses incurred by Mr. Waldron. They had parted on good terms, but there was no chance of the parish paying the expenses.

(e) The Secretary had communicated several times with Mr. Lufkin concerning the peal of Grandsire Triples at Portsea on 11th June 1983. He had stressed the Guild's support for the invoking of Central Council decision (D), sub-section E, in this case. Mr. Esbester referred to this item as recorded in the Minutes, and to Mr. Cater's reluctance to follow the lines indicated by the Guild. The Master commented that other Guilds are not clear whether they are sending representatives or delegates to the Central Council but she hoped and expected that, on this matter, Mr. Cater would represent the wishes of our Guild. However no one can be forced to vote one way or the other, though voting contrary to Guild wishes must be followed by an explanation to Guild members. Mr.Smith suggested that such action should be followed by resignation from office. Mr.Esbester suggested that the Secretary write to Mr.Cater, drawing his attention to the wishes of the Guild, but agreed that the Master should exercise her skill in diplomacy, and raise the matter with Mr.Cater.

Correspondence

(a) The Master had received a request from the Essex Association, prior to their reprinting of Service booklets. They formally requested permission to print the hymn "Ring forth holy bells", for which we are believed to hold the copyright. Mr.Collins thought it was written for us by Rev. Matthews, and proposed permission be granted. This was seconded by Mr.Grant, and carried, nem.con.

(b) The Clatford ringers had organised a "Bell Bonanza" on Sunday 4th March. The total collection was £55-71, and they had donated £18-57 of this to the Guild Bell Restoration Fund. The Secretary handed the cheque to the Guild Treasurer.

(c) Cdr.Harris had written in January to explain that Binsted tower and bells had been used for the filming of a tobacco advertisement for I.T.V. The local ringers spent much time attempting to instruct the actors how to handle a bell correctly, and the parish had benefited financially.

(d) The Central Council Education Committee had written to encourage all Guilds to sponsor students attending the 1984 Ringing School. The Master asked in anyone wished to speak on the matter or make a proposition. Mr.Smith commended the Tower Leadership course.

Hon. General Secretary's report

This had been duplicated and circulated with the agendas. After some discussion it was agreed that we print the total, subscribing membership, and not add on the Honorary Life Members. It was proposed by Mr.Wilson that this report appear in the 1983 Guild Report, seconded by Mr.Collins, and carried, nem.con.

Hon. General Treasurer's report

Mr. Colliss circulated copies of the accounts due to be printed in the 1983 Guild Report. He stressed that the Reserve Account, which allows funding of Guild projects, has a healthy balance of £1269-28. He also pointed out that the ½p, appearing in the Central Fund accounts, has remained in the petty cash box since decimalisation in 1971. Such coins were now redundant, by Government decree, and a use/home was required for the Guild ½p. Mr.Case suggested it form the basis of a Guild Treasurer's badge. Mr.Smith suggested that we are also provided with a visual display of each sub-committee's expenses. After some discussion Mr. Smith proposed "Accounts of sub-committees involved with income and expenditure be printed in the Guild Report, commencing with the 1984 Report". This was seconded by Mr.White and carried, nem.con. The Treasurer's accounts were accepted, on the proposition of Mr.Bailey, seconded by Cdr.Harris.

Hon. Peal Recorder's report

Mr.R. Le Marechal presented the details due for printing in the 1983 Guild Report. There was a further drop in the number of peals, from 131 to 106, but one tenth of those ringing were attempting their first peal. This report was accepted, on the proposition of Mr. Colliss, seconded by Mr. Collins.

With the agreement of the Master, Mr.Esbester then introduced a proposed change to rule 19 concerning peals. This was seconded by Mr. Smith. After some discussion the wording was changed slightly, and it was agreed, nem.con., that the following be presented at the Guild A.G.M.:-

Hon. Librarian's report

Mr.Haythorne presented his report, due for printing in the 1983 Guild Report, and also the accounts of the library fund. These were accepted, on the proposition of Mr. White, seconded by Mr. Bailey. Mr. Haythorne stated that no further progress had been made concerning a new location for the library.

Guild Public Relations Officer's report

In the absence of Mr.Cater, Mr.Grant read out the report. It was proposed by Mr. Barnsdale that this appear in the 1983 Guild Report, seconded by Mr.Grant, and carried, nem.con. The Master commented upon Mr. Cater's plan to initiate a Guild newsletter this Autumn, with the possibility of the printing by N.A.L.G.O., at a cost of £10 per 250 copies. The Secretary pointed out that Rule 21 specifies an Inventory, which first appeared on page 12 of the 1982 Report, but the P.R.O. had not mentioned this in his report. Mr.Esbester informed those concerned that Mr.Mather had been interviewed on Radio Victory, and this was followed by some excellent Rounds on the bells of Portsmouth Cathedral.

Guild Membership Secretary

Mr.Barnsdale explained that he would first attempt the listing of all, living, Compounding Members, working through Guild Reports. The second task would be to liaise with District Secretaries to list names of all elected members, and this he hoped to record on computer.

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

1983 Guild Report

Cdr. Harris explained that John Longridge had suggested the condensing of lists to reduce the total number of pages, but would introduce headings in heavy type at no extra cost. This firm tendered the cheapest quotation, £744 for 1100 copies, which had been accepted. If the copy was despatched next Monday the Reports would be ready in May. The Guild could save the £30 delivery charge if someone could collect the copies from Devon. New proformas had been designed and sent to District Secretaries, in an attempt to solve all the problems encountered last year. All typing and duplicating had been performed by Miss C.Roberts, free of charge, and the Secretary was asked to write expressing the Guild's gratitude. Cdr.Harris commented that peals cost about £1-15 to print but that the usual income from peal fees, specified in Rule 19, rarely exceeded 80p. Mr. Smith asked if the Report would contain an item about Guild Insurance. Cdr.Harris replied that he was waiting for Mr. Foot to supply this item, but that copy must be despatched to Devon next Monday. Mr. Wilson proposed and Mr. Smith seconded that the Report Editor produces the 1983 Guild Report as outlined. This was carried, nem. con.

Bells in redundant churches. Restoration work

The Secretary had duplicated a report of current restoration work, compiled by himself and Mr. Grant. Mr.Le Marechal pointed out that the method rung on the new octave at Deane was now called New Deane Delight. Mr. Bailey reported that All Saints, Freshwater, had also employed Taylor's for a complete restoration, all monies being raised locally. He requested this be added to the report. Mr. White proposed and Mr. Bailey seconded that this amended report appear in the 1983 Guild Report. This was carried, nem. con.

The Secretary then outlined current activity:-

(a) The Trustees of the B.R.F. had received a communication from the Central Council Bell Restoration Funds Committee concerning grants from the Manifold Trust in 1984. These would be directed mainly towards work on "silent" rings of bells. We have 8 such peals, and the Secretary was asked to write to Mr.J.S.Barnes and to "silent" towers where progress was a possibility.

(b) St. Edward the Confessor, Hound, Netley (8)

The Secretary had written twice to the Incumbent in 1981, and twice received no reply. On writing again in 1984 he received no reply. However, he also wrote to the Church Warden and also to Col.Gibbon at the Diocesan Office. Both have expressed interest.

(c) St. Peter, Brown Candover (5)

The bells were silent up to Centenary Year, and then, due to the dangerous condition of the tower fabric, silent again. The parish have initiated repairs on the masonry and the bells have been rung for one wedding. The Secretary has written to the P.C.C. and they have expressed interest in a restoration scheme, and will apply for a Manifold grant. Whites of Appleton have been asked to inspect, and provide a quotation.

(d) St. Paul, Bournemouth (Chime of 8)

This church was to be demolished and rebuilt as a Worship Centre in the suburbs. In 1981 the Secretary wrote to enquire the fate of the bells. The Rev. Wallace explained that it was intended to rehang the chime in the new centre, as it was a memorial to an earlier Vicar's wife, but they would not contemplate hanging them for full-circle ringing due to cost. Mr. P. Matthews discovered Whitechapel foundry workers lowering these bells on 15th Dec. 1983, took photographs, and copies were available for viewing. The bells would be stored at Whitechapel for a time, and the church building was now demolished.

(e) St. Pierre du Bois, Guernsey. (Chime of 3)

The band at this tower have been taught to ring on the 4 bells at St. Marguerite de la Foret. They have launched a scheme to raise £35000 which will enable them to purchase and install the ring of 10 bells from St. Catherine's, Feltham, to mark the 40th anniversary of the liberation, in 1985. The scheme was launched in January, and they have raised one third of the target sum, and have paid the deposit for the bells. Queries over conflicting estimates from the bell founders were referred to Mr. Collins, and the order has now been placed with Whitechapel.

(f) St. John the Baptist, Niton. (5)

Paul Miller has now moved to Niton, where he is training a young band to handle the bells. He has re-activated the scheme to augment to 6, at a cost of £4000, and Whitechapel hope to complete this before the Quarterly Meeting on 27th October 1984

(g) All Hallows, Whitchurch (8)

The ringers hope to improve the ringing circle, replace the guide bars, carpet the floor, install sound control, and add hand chimes. The Secretary has written to point out that not all these items would qualify for a grant from the B.R.F., and has requested further information. This has not appeared, and there are some problems over the plans.

(h) St. Mary the Virgin, Micheldever. (6)

Wear and tear on the masonry of the tower has resulted in a dangerous structure, from which there are odd falls of stone. Unless repairs, costing £36872, are effected soon, ringing must cease, and the church itself may be forced to close.

(i) The Good Shepherd, Four Marks.

The enthusiasts here have sent photographs of the bell, rescued from the redundant church of The Resurrection, Eastleigh, now hanging at Four Marks.

(j) St. Andrew, Hurstbourne Priors. (6)

The sequence of events by which the efforts of Mr. Philip Taylor had converted this antique, silent, ring of six into a just usable peal was outlined in the Secretary's report. However, he had since paid an official visit on Wednesday 14th March, and had prepared a lengthy report on the installation. Enthusiasm by villagers and members of the Andover district was most encouraging, but he had stressed that applications for grants from our B.R.F. and from The Manifold Trust, must be preceded by a professional inspection and quotation. Replacement clappers were essential for bells 2 and 3, and these had been supplied by Mr. Waldron at a charge of £25. Unfortunately the parish was not able to supply further funds, after their initial advance of £50, leaving Mr. Taylor with an outstanding debt of £25, and Mr. Waldron out-of-pocket. Mr. Grant proposed and Mr. Le Marechal seconded that we make a grant of £25 to Hurstbourne Priors to show our backing, and to enable this debt to be settled. This was carried, 17 voting against 1. Mr. Grant stressed that no further monies should be provided except from the B.R.F. by following the usual procedures. He was also concerned over the work completed by Mr. Taylor and his helpers. This, and that planned for the future, required a faculty and consultations with the church architect. Mr. Collins also stressed this point, and asked that the Secretary write to the P.C.C. to clarify it.

Bell Restoration Fund

Mr. Colliss circulated copies of the accounts to be printed in the 1983 Guild Report. The income for the past year was £1803-69, which included donations made in memory of Montague Northway. £43 had been raised during the Open Day organised by the Christchurch and Southampton District on 14th May 1983. Portsmouth District would organise the 1984 Open Day, on 9th June. The Master stated that the Vicar of Hambledon had been overjoyed by the grant of £500, awarded from the B.R.F. He had hoped to make a ceremonial of the presentation, but the efficiency of Guild Secretary and Treasurer had ensured arrival of the cheque before plans could be made. Never-the-less the Master attended Morning Service and celebrated completion of repairs and removal of scaffolding. The accounts were accepted on the proposition of Mr. Bailey, seconded by Mr. Collins.

New Rule. Disposal of redundant bells

This was introduced by Mr. Esbester, who proposed the following appear as New Rule 22 on the agenda for the A.G.M.:-

In the event of either

(a) redundant bells coming into the possession of the Guild

or (b) the advice of the Guild being sought on the disposal or movement of redundant bells

the Trustees of the Bell Restoration Fund shall be empowered to decide upon the disposition of such bells, or offer such advice as they feel is appropriate. Where possible such decisions or advice shall be subject to confirmation by the Guild Executive or Annual General Meeting of the Guild.

Also that present Rule 22 become Rule 23. This was seconded by Mr. Smith, and carried nem. con.

Guild A.G.M.

This will take place in Holy Trinity Church Hall, Winchester on Saturday 7th July. Both Mr. Grant and Mr. Hill reported on various parts of the plans for the day.

Date of next meeting

Cdr.Harris proposed and Mr. Esbester seconded that we meet on Saturday 17th November 1984, as well as the traditional meeting on Saturday 16th March 1985. This was carried, nem. con. The Secretary was asked to try to book St. Lawrence Parish Rooms again, via. Mrs. G.Cater.

Any other business

(a) The Master had spent some time hoping to evolve a project providing all members with a specific aim and uniting all Districts in its implementation. Plans for the augmentations in the Channel Islands, and the enthusiastic activity displayed by our members of that district led her to propose a Guild Festival in 1986, based in the Channel Islands District. She had discussed this suggestion with the Guild Officers, received their approval, and then asked for comments from the February meeting in Guernsey. Everyone is very enthusiastic, and if arrangements are made for a three day package holiday by members in the Channel Islands, the cost can be reduced to between £139 (using four star hotels) and £110 (using guest homes) for half board. The weekend could include a Festival Luncheon, a Barn Dance, and a Festival Service. The Master wished to introduce her project at the A.G.M., and asked members to think over the outline plans so that comments can be made in July.

(b) Mr. Grant informed the meeting that a Winchester based team had entered the National 12 Bell Striking Competition, and would participate in one of the "heats", at Bow, next Saturday. The Master wished the team well.

(c) Mr. Bailey asked whether Mr. K.S.B. Croft had initiated one of his retirement plans to write a history of the Winchester and Portsmouth Guild. The Master would sound Mr. Croft on this matter when they next coincided.

(d) Cdr. Harris stated that we should increase our peal fees to cover more of the cost required to print them. He proposed it be raised to 25p, 15p being allocated to the Central Fund and 10p to the Bell Restoration Fund. This was seconded by Mr. Collins and carried, nem. con.

The Master closed the meeting, with prayers, at 1803 hours.