A meeting of the Guild Executive Committee was held in the St. Lawrence Parish Rooms, Winchester, on Saturday 17th November 1984, at 1400 hours. The Guild Master, Mrs. G.W.Davis, was in the chair, supported by the Hon. General Secretary, Mr.D.C.Jackson, and the Hon. Treasurer, Mr.J.P.Colliss. Mrs.Davis commenced the meeting with a prayer, and then welcomed the 24 members present out of a total, possible membership of 28. The following, new members were introduced:-

Mr.M.R.HILSON. Secretary of the Channel Islands District.
Mr.P.W.HILL. Proxy for Convenor of Striking Competitions sub-committee.

Apologies for absence

Written apologies had been received from Mrs.M.E.Gilbert and Mr.A.T.Collins, the latter sending Mr.Hill as his proxy. Mr.White stated that Mr.Haythorne sent his apologies but was under the impression that Mr.White would now act in his place as librarian. Mr.Cater presented apologies on behalf of Miss W.Lines and Mr.I.P.Holdsworth.

Loss of members through death

Members stood in silence to respect the following:-

Mrs.Ethel Hibberd (née White), youngest daughter of Henry White, one of our founder members, and sister of Alice White; Mr.C.Callaway (Life Member, Godshill); Mr.W.E. Fletcher (Lymington); Mr.F.Taylor (Life Member, Newport).

Honorary Life Members

Cdr.Harris reported that Mr.C.A.Pound of Hawkley had joined the Guild on 13th October 1924, and was eligible for life membership at the next A.G.M. Mr.Case reported that Mr.F.Bessent of Hambledon had joined the Guild in October 1934.

Alterations to information in the Guild Report

The Secretary circulated duplicated details of such alterations.


Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting held on 17th March 1984 had been duplicated and circulated by the Secretary. Mr.Cater wished to query the recording of “Matters Arising, item (e)”, and spoke at length on the duties of a representative and a delegate to the Central Council. After much discussion the Master proposed, from the chair:-

Following an explanation from Mr.Cater concerning the remarks (“Mr.Cater’s reluctance to follow the lines indicated by the Guild”), the Executive Committee now realised that a misunderstanding had arisen concerning Mr.Cater’s apparent reluctance to abide by the wishes of the Executive. The members now felt that the misunderstanding had no foundation and that Mr.Cater is prepared to abide by the wishes of the Executive as he has always done in the past. The misunderstanding arose in confusing the question of the role of Representatives and the question of Mr. Cater’s support for the Peal at Portsmouth.

It was agreed that the Master sign the Minutes as correct, on the proposition of Mr.Esbester, seconded by Mr.White.

Matters arising

(a) The Secretary had despatched letters of thanks to Miss C.Roberts and to the Clatford band.

(b) The cheque for £25 had been despatched to the Secretary of the P.C.C. at Hurstbourne Priors.

(c) In the 12-bell striking competition, the Winchester based band had been placed 4th in the “heat” at Bow.

(d) In answering a query from Cdr. Harris, the Treasurer stated that four of the covenant forms enclosed in Guild Reports had been returned to him, completed.


(a) Letters of thanks had been received from St. Pierre du Bois, Guernsey, St. John the Baptist, Niton, St. Mary the Virgin, Micheldever, and Ste. Marguerite de la Forêt, Guernsey, following the allocation of grants to these towers from the Guild Bell Restoration Fund.

(b) A letter of thanks had been received from St. Nicolas, North Stoneham, following receipt of their grant.

(c) The Secretary circulated details sent to Mr.Viggers for printing in the 1985 “Ringers’ Diary”.

(d) A letter had been received from the directors of “The Ringing World Ltd.” stating that reduced rates would now be available for association line notices, with a discount for accounts kept in credit.

(e) A letter had been received from the editor of “The Ringing World” stating that all Central Council publications ordered in advance by C.C. representatives, and collected at the meeting, would be sold with a 10% or more discount.

(f) The Secretary stated that, after much correspondence with the Ecclesiastical Insurance Office, he had effected the public liability (third party) insurance for Guild Members, at a premium of £85. He had photocopied the Public Liability Quotation, and copies were circulated to the meeting. Mr. Smith asked if cover for non-routine maintenance had been effected, and the Secretary reported that E.I.O. would only arrange short term cover for such work. The usual abundance of queries were evolved by the photocopies, but the Master suggested that the Secretary first obtain the full schedule from E.I.O. Cdr.Harris suggested that the schedule be rewritten in layman’s terms and printed in the Guild Report, and asked the Secretary to locate a Guild member with the necessary expertise.

Bells in redundant churches. Restoration work

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

Mr.Hilson outlined the progress involving the installation of the ring of 10 bells from the redundant church of St. Catherine’s, Feltham. The cost has been reduced to about £22000 by a local arrangement to install a steel frame to the specification provided by Whitechapel. Hence the parish, thanks to the grant from the B.R.F., felt financially secure, and have issued final instructions to Whitechapel Bell Foundry for installation in time to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Liberation, 9th May 1985, with a peal attempt. Mr. Collins asked if the locally installed frame would be galvanised, as in the Whitechapel specification. Mr.Hilson stated that it was not possible to do this, but Mr.Collins expressed disquiet.

(b) Ste Marguerite de la Forêt, Guernsey (4)

Mr.Hilson stated that the two new bells had been cast at Whitechapel on 19th July 1984, the original 4 had been retuned, and the ring of six had now returned to Guernsey. Work on the new installation commenced earlier in the week, and the dedication was planned for 7th December 1984.

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

Mr.C.H.J.Hill explained how he had organised the ringing of this previously unringable peal for the church fete on Saturday 28th July, hoping to evoke a mood of enterprise for a full restoration. Alas, the P.C.C. are irresolute, and have declined to approach the Manifold Trust for a grant to complete the restoration of tower and frame.

(d) Holy Trinity, Gosport (8)

Mr.G.C.Grant reported that the inspection made by himself and the Secretary on 21st April confirmed that it would be dangerous to rescue the bells as requested by the Vicar, and that it would be irresponsible for amateurs to remove brick piers and lower bells externally.

(e) St. Mark’s, Wootton, I.O.W. (intended home for the Gosport octave)

Mr.Wilson explained that the above setback had been exacerbated by local complaints when application was made for planning permission. It was possible that the Gosport octave might be purchased, broken, removed, and recast as a 4cwt ring of 8.

(f) St. Andrew’s, Hurstbourne Priors (6)

Mr.R.J.Knight stated that there was an increased approbation in the village towards the restoration of the bells. The P.C.C. was vexed that their application for grants from our B.R.F. and from the Manifold Trust were tardy, but intended to re-apply in 1985. A fund had been established this Autumn, and £220 had been raised so far. Five young ladies had offered themselves for instruction, and three of these were still resolute.

(g) St. John the Baptist, Winchester (5)

Mr.G.C.Grant reported that the new clergyman had moved from Christchurch Priory, and had shown interest in the restoration of the 5 unringable bells. To date the P.C.C. had placed such plans at the foot of their list of priorities, but he would visit the new vicar and offer encouragement.

(h) St. John the Baptist, Niton, I.O.W. (5)

Mr.L.Bailey stated that Whitechapel had cast the new treble, and had completed the augmentation in the tower. The dedication was planned for 19th January 1985.

(i) St. Peter’s, Curdridge (8)

The Secretary reported that the seventh bell was currently unringable, and that a new wheel was required.

(j) St. Peter’s, Soberton (8)

The P.C.C. initiated a restoration appeal in January, to raise £50000 for the restoration of the fabric of church and tower. Guild Officers assisted in this initiation by scoring a peal on 17th January 1984 identical to that of 100 years ago. The latter marked the completion of the restoration of church and tower, and the augmentation of the bells. It was George William’s first peal, the second peal for the Guild, and the first peal in Hampshire. Ringing on these bells would now be limited until the tower has been made safe.

(k) St. Peter’s, Goodworth Clatford (6)

The Secretary had received a telephone call from the new tower correspondent informing him that the scheme to augment to 8 had again been activated.

Reports from convenors of sub-committees

(a) Social

Miss A.Bennett read the report prepared by Mrs. E.Chapman concerning the Guild Dinner held at Ashurst on 14th April, and concerning the Barn Dance held at Eastleigh College of Further Education on 6th October. This report was accepted, on the proposition of Cdr. Harris, seconded by Mr. Wilson, thanks also being expressed to members of this sub-committee.

(b) Education

Mr.A.P.Smith presented his report on the many activities of this sub-committee, and this was accepted on the proposition of Mr. Esbester, seconded by Mr. Barnsdale. Mr.Colliss regretted that we were, at present, the only Guild operating the Central Council Graded Assessment scheme, while Mr.Smith pointed out that this was further evidence of our enterprise and prognostication as a Guild. The Master congratulated the sub-committee on their excellent work.

Mr.Smith reminded members of the theoretical sessions on 7th Dec., 8th Jan., 6th Feb., and 4th March. He also stated that the 1985 Ringing School was planned for 11th May and the Maintenance Course for 28th Sept.

(c) Striking Competitions

The Secretary explained that he had written to all members of the sub-committee following the concern expressed by members at the A.G.M. Mr.Reynolds was now applying for employment abroad, and had tendered his resignation. The Secretary had persuaded Mr. Collins to adopt the mantle of convenor, and he had recruited Mr and Mrs P.W. Hill to act with Mr. J.W.J.Mather as members of this sub-committee. It was proposed by Mr.Esbester and seconded by Mr.Bailey, that we confirm the composition of this sub-committee, with thanks to those concerned, and this was carried, nem. con.

Mr. Hill explained that the sub-committee had met and discussed plans, and the Secretary’s letter, at length. Mr.Reynolds had promised to write the sub-committee’s report for the past year, but this had not yet materialised. The 1985 competitions were arranged for 29th June at Niton (6-Bell) and 18th May at Shedfield (8-Bell). For the 1986 competitions the sub-committee would like to receive invitations from a 6-bell tower in the Basingstoke district, and an 8-bell tower in the Winchester. The 10-bell competition could be arranged at Portsmouth Cathedral in September or October 1986.

The problems over catering, expressed at the A.G.M., had three possible solutions:-

(a) To charge a deposit per team, or per ringer, on booking.

(b) To have tea available for all, as at present, but served for duration of the competition, enabling members to ring, eat, and depart before the announcement of results.

(c) Application of the status quo.

The sub-committee awaited comments. Also they wished to know if members wished for legislation to prevent members from ringing for a tower team as well as a district team.

The Master thanked the new sub-committee for its activity. Mr.Colliss asked the sub-committee to reconsider the use of the 160 changes of Bob Major as a specified touch.

“Peals” at Liss Campanile

Following the publication of the report of the 1984 Annual General Meeting, written by Mr. Cater, in “The Ringing World” issue 3822, the Secretary received a letter from the Hon. Secretary of The Central Council, questioning the Guild’s recognition of 5000 changes of Kent Treble Royal on this campanile as a peal. The Secretary had written an apologetic letter, stating that the A.G.M. was pressed for time, and explaining that the matter would be placed on the agenda for the Executive Committee Meeting. Mr.Smith and others contributed to the discussion on performances not recognised as peals by The Central Council, namely:-

1946-Grandsire Caters at All Saints, Basingstoke, followed by
Kent Major with a cover bell - C.H.Kippin.
1970-Plain Bob Triples with the “cover” ringing both 8 & 9, at All Saints - H.E.J.Smith.
1970-Plain Bob Caters at All Saints - G.K.Dodd
1961-Kent Treble Bob Minimus at Newtown - G.K.Dodd.
1971-Stedman Caters at All Saints - T.F.Collins.
1972-Spliced Plain Royal (9 Methods) in hand - W.S.Croft.
Spliced Plain Royal (10 Methods) in hand - J.S.Croft.
1974-Spliced Grandsire Major and Caters at All Saints - W.T.Perrins.

Eventually it was proposed by Mr. Barnsdale and seconded by Mr. Smith that the Executive Committee propose at the 1985 Annual General Meeting “That peal number 7239 be recorded as a Miscellaneous Performance”. This was carried, nem.con.

A short break for tea followed at this point, after which the Master thanked Miss Bennett for the preparation, and Mr. Le Marechal for washing-up.

Date of next meeting

It had been agreed in March that we should meet on the traditional date of Saturday 16th March 1985, in St. Lawrence Parish Rooms if that is possible.

1985 events

The Secretary checked 1985 dates he had recorded prior to circulating information to District Secretaries, as specified by the 1983 Executive Committee Meeting.

1986 Guild Festival

Mr. Hilson spoke of the enthusiasm shown at the Channel Islands Annual District Meeting for this Festival after Mr. Blondin reported on the discussion at the Guild A.G.M. He confirmed that a Guernsey based travel firm would prepare a four-day package, based on Guernsey, costing about £150 for travel and half-board. He outlined possible programmes, including visits to Jersey and Alderney at extra cost, and suggested the Spring Bank Holiday weekend. After some reservations about dates, Mr. Esbester proposed and Mr. Wilson seconded, that the festival be held from Thursday 29th May to Saturday 1st June, providing members with the option of travelling to Guernsey earlier and/or remaining there for a further period. This was carried, nem. con. Mr.Hilson would attempt to produce an informative hand-out in time for the Secretary to circulate them to members at A.D.Ms.

Guild Badges

The Secretary reported that he held a stock of 55 badges, costing £1 each. It was time to investigate the cost of another pressing, and he suggested that it would spread Guild involvement if a Channel Island member could participate in this subcommittee. Cdr. Harris proposed and Mr. Smith seconded the election of Mr.Hilson to this committee. This was carried, nem.con. Mr. Smith asked Mr. Hilson to ensure that a lighter metal was used for future badges.

Memorial to Mr. K.S.B.Croft

The Master stated that three suggestions had been forthcoming :-

(a) Rev.B.J.Fry has suggested that the peal board commemorating the Centenary Peal of Grandsire Caters at Winchester Cathedral be also a memorial.

(b) Miss A.Bennett has suggested that a large, inscribed gavel, for use at Guild A.G.Ms., be presented as a memorial.

(c) Mr.Waldron, during the 1984 A.G.M., had suggested that all past Masters be commemorated on a suitable honours board.

After some discussion on a suitable venue for (c), it was proposed by Mr.F.E.Collins and seconded by Mr.White that we recommend the establishment of an honours board to the Guild A.G.M. Mr.Smith asked if positive steps could be taken to investigate the siting of this board in Portsmouth or in Winchester Cathedral, or in the ringing room of either. Mr.Grant was asked to investigate Winchester and Mr. Esbester was asked to investigate Portsmouth.

Guild Public Relations Officer

Mr. Cater introduced copies of the first issue of the Guild Newsletter, and asked District Secretaries to collect and distribute copies for members in their districts. The Master complimented Mr. Cater on his achievement. Mr. Cater said that his printing arrangements were somewhat irresolute and that he had to resort to a commercial firm at a cost of £25. He asked if anyone had facilities for Xeroxing on both sides of A3 coloured paper, and with the possibility of using this facility for future editions of the newsletter.

Mr.Cater stated that he had circulated a questionnaire on public relations to all District Secretaries. He also suggested that we consider the production of a general interest film strip on Campanology, suitable for illustrating talks on this subject.

Any Other Business

(a) The Secretary reminded all convenors that it had been agreed at the March Executive Committee Meeting that all accounts should be published in Guild Reports in future.

(b) Mr. Esbester informed the meeting that all 1 pint beer glasses had now been sold, but that he did hold a stock of ½ pint glasses.

(c) Mr. Esbester explained that his next money-raising scheme for the B.R.F. would be a joint effort with Mr. Grant to produce a 1986 W & P Ringing Calendar. It was proposed by Mr. Smith and seconded by Mr. Colliss, that Mr. Esbester be authorised to draw up to £150 from Guild funds to cover production expenses. This was carried, nem. con.

The Master closed the meeting, with prayers, at 1735 hours.