A meeting of the Guild Executive Committee was held on Saturday 16th November in the headquarters of the 1st Totton Guide Company, commencing at 1400 hours. The Guild Master, Mrs. G.W.Davis, occupied the chair, supported by the Hon. General Secretary, Mr. D.C.Jackson, and the Hon. Treasurer, Mr. J.P.Colliss. The Master opened the meeting with prayers, and then welcomed the 23 members present, out of a maximum membership of 27. The following, new members were introduced:-

MR. H.L. HATFIELD- Convenor of Education sub-committee.
MR. J. FRODSHAM- Proxy for Secretary of I.O.W. District.

Apologies for absence

Telephoned apologies had been received from Mr.A.T.Collins and Mr.A.D.Barnsdale. Cdr.W.A.Harris presented apologies on behalf of Mr.R.H.Routh.

Loss of members through death

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

Mrs.M.Croft (Southampton); Mrs.B.Dobson (Longparish); Mr.R.Rex (Woolton Hill & Thatcham)

Alterations to information in the Guild Report

The Secretary circulated duplicated details of changes known to him.


Minutes of the meeting held on 16th March 1985 had been duplicated and circulated in advance by the Secretary. The Master signed these as correct, on the proposition of Cdr. W.A.Harris, seconded by Mr.G.C.Grant.

Matters arising

(a) The Secretary explained that the present meeting was in Totton rather than in Winchester, in spite of the item recorded in the Minutes concerning Mr.Cater's offer. The Secretary contacted Mrs.Cater in September, only to find that all suitable halls had been booked during July and August. The hall in Totton was made available by Mrs.Jackson cancelling one of her own meetings. The Secretary suggested that, in future, he undertake the booking of meeting places rather than call upon the good offices of Mr.Cater. This was agreed.

(b) Mr.W.O.Haythorne had written to confirm his resignation as Guild Librarian.

(c) The Secretary had written to Mr.M.Wilson, thanking him for his article on Public Liability Insurance.

(d) The Bishop of Southampton had written to the Convenor of the Social sub-committee, and to the Guild Master, apologising for his absence from the 1985 Guild Dinner.

(e) The Secretary had photocopies the C.C. item concerning covenanting, and distributed these to Trustees of the B.R.F.

(f) Sussex County Association have paid for the Guild badge used in their exhibition.

(g) The Guild Membership Secretary had telephoned to explain that current lists of members should be transcribed onto computer disk, by January 1986. He lacks data for the period 1914-1945, when many Guild Reports did not list the names of members. The meeting was asked how names of members could be obtained. Finally he wished to point out that names had been identified, in the current Report, of people who have not paid a membership fee or who had not been elected at the time of going to press. He asked for the meeting to consider this matter. Mr.Frodsham stated that the current Report also contained names of members who have never learnt to handle a bell. He asked that this situation also be considered.

Mr.R.J.Knight suggested that we consider that members elected in previous years have only until April of the following year to pay their annual subscription, this being the custom with every other club and society. Cdr.W.A.Harris stated that the discrepancy in 1984, of 142, represented 142 x £2 in lost subscriptions, and £142 in Reports provided free. Mr.A.P.Smith stated that subscriptions are due on 1st January the following year, are overdue on 2nd January, and, if unpaid, on 31st December, that person ceases to be a member. They must be re-elected at a later meeting, and their name must NOT appear in the previous Report. Mr.M.R.Hilson stated that it should be Ringing membership only, and that Guild Rules need amending so that ringing for Sunday service be a minimum qualification for membership.

(h) The Guild Librarian had not received details of a "damp chaser" for the library, but the Secretary, had noted an advertisement in a Sunday newspaper. This he presented to the librarian.

(i) The Open Day held on the I.O.W. had experienced organisational problems. However one coach tour did take place, organised by Mr. Frodsham, who stated that a profit of £35 had been presented to the B.R.F.


(a) The Secretary circulated copies of the information sent to Mr. Viggers for printing in the 1986 "Ringers' Notebook and Diary".

(b) The Secretary offered, for inspection, copies of the letter, written after the 1985 Guild A.G.M., stating the Guild's decision re-recording of performances at Liss campanile.

(c) A sample copy of the "Sherbourne Teaching Aid for Ringers" had been received. Several district representatives stated that they were now offering these on sale at district meetings.

(d) Copies of photographs, taken by Mr.C.R.Abel during the 1985 8-bell, striking competition, were available for inspection. Extra copies could be ordered, at a cost of £1-50 each.

(e) An excellent newsletter had been received from the Channel Islands District. Edited by Mr.M.R.Hilson, this was issue number 4.

(f) Letters of thanks had been received from St. Peter's, Curdridge, St. Peter's, Goodworth Clatford, St. Peter's, Soberton, St. Leonard, Sherfield English, St. Mary, Eversley. This followed the allocation of grants to these towers from the Guild Bell Restoration Fund.

(g) Letters of thanks had been received from the P.C.C. and from the ringers of St. Mary the Virgin, Micheldever, following payment of their grant.

(h) Mr.C.A.Pound, who was elected a Life Member during the 1985 A.G.M., had written to express his thanks, and, at the request of the Secretary, had written a fascinating account of ringing at Hawkley in the 1920s and 1930s. He had given permission for this to be used, and the Secretary provided the Guild Public Relations Officer with a photocopy for inclusion in the next Guild newsletter.

(i) Col.E.L.Gibbon, Secretary of the Winchester Redundant Churches Uses Committee, had replied to a letter from the Secretary that there were now no further planned redundancies in the diocese.

(j) A letter from Cdr.W.A.Harris had informed the Secretary that one of our members from Catherington, Mrs.Sandy Hayter, was to be ordained Deaconess by the Lord Bishop of Portsmouth, on 1st October. A Guild card had been sent by the Secretary.

(k) Mr.J.Worrall, the C.I.D. Ringing Master, had sent the address of the new Dean of Jersey. Mr.M.R.Hilson explained that the Dean was automatically a Vice-president of the Guild., and the C.I.D. A.D.M. had asked if an official communication could be despatched.

(l) The Secretary thanked those District Secretaries who had arranged for cards to be sent for the Silver Wedding of Ruth and himself.

Mr.A.P.Smith requested that all newsletters, copies of dedication service, and newspaper cuttings be preserved. The Secretary assured Mr.Smith that he stored all historical documents in the archives.

1986 Guild Festival.

Mr.M.R.Hilson had arrived with a large number of application forms. He and the Secretary had prepared bundles for each district, containing one form for each of the 171 names on the Secretary's list. The Secretary had prepared an instruction sheet for each District Secretary, containing the names of his district members who were to be given priority over booking. The Master specifically requested District Secretaries to distribute these to their named members before 23rd November 1985.

Mr.Hilson stated that he aimed to cater for 200 participants, and asked for a date, after which he could advertise unfilled places to members of other Guilds. It was agreed that this be 31st December 1985, after which Mr.Hilson would draft an advertisement for "The Ringing World", in consultation with the Master and the Secretary. The Master requested District Secretaries to add a note on application forms that reserved places are guaranteed only if the form is despatched before 31st December 1985.

These arrangements were accepted, on the proposition of Mr.J.Frodsham, seconded by Mr.R. Le. Marechal.

Visit to mainland by Channel Islands District

Mr. Hilson explained that their chairman, Rev.P.G.K.Manton, had introduced this idea at their A.D.M., and it was agreed that plans would be made for the school half-term in October 1986. They hoped to participate in the 10-Bell Striking Competition at Portsmouth Cathedral, and also to have the opportunity to ring at Winchester Cathedral. The Secretary stated that he had written to Mr.G.C.Grant on this matter. Mr.Cater stated that the Secretary should have written to Mrs.Cater instead, and the Secretary promised to do this as well.

Production of Guild Report

Cdr.W.A. Harris expressed concern over the steadily rising cost for our Guild Report, even though John Longridge, himself a ringer, offers us a reasonable discount. He had replied to articles in "The Ringing World" concerning the production of a D.I.Y. Report using a word processor. He had studied the information provided, and passed this on to the Secretary and Master. He summed up the differences, as follows:-

(1) It is really D.I.Y. typing, rather than production.

(2) Our present typing cost is about £300. The suggested scheme would cost about £250. (3) The capital cost of the machinery would be about £1000. To this should be added about £120 loss of interest obtained by the Treasurer in investments, £100 annual depreciation, and £50 annual servicing.

Cdr. Harris had sent for a copy of the Hertford County Association Report, produced by this method, but it is not as clear as the printing supplied by John Longridge.

Mr.A.P.Smith stated that the last point was irrelevant, since one simply uses a more appropriate printer joined to the word processor. Repetitive data, such as the content of our Report is, now-a-days, logically stored in computers. Mr.P.W.Hill explained that lists of members would be recalled from memory each year, deductions and additions typed in, and the lists automatically printed.

The Secretary had circulated to C.C. Representatives copies of the application of registration under the Data Protection Act. Mr.R.Wilson stated that we would need to register information about individuals, unless we intended to use this privately.

Mr.A.P.Smith proposed that we leave this matter until time is more suitable for considering purchase and/or use of computers. This was seconded by Mr.Hill, and carried, nem. con.

St. Saviour's, Shanklin

The Master stated that the Secretary had been involved with voluminous correspondence concerning this tower, the re-commencement of ringing during 1985, and the formation of a new band of ringers. Since the publication of the announcement in "Ringing World", issue 3872, on page 605, there had been many problems within the I.O.W. district, not all relevant to this Executive Committee, resulting in much unhappiness among district members. The Secretary had visited the band on Sunday 20th October, had listened to their problems, and had persuaded the ringers to allow the matter to be raised at this meeting.

Mr. Frodsham stated that the tower of this church had been declared unsafe, about 1926, though there are no clear records about this. Until recently the area surrounding the base of the tower has been fenced off with warning notices. The P.C.C. were considering a structural survey to establish whether the tower was safe for ringing, but this would cost £200. The ringers had applied to the "Society for the preservation of Isle of Wight church bells" for a grant, but this had been rejected. Hence the P.C.C. would not now authorise the survey, and ringing would cease. The reason for refusal hinged upon a Trustee, Mr.J.Wheeler, who stated that the bells were silenced in the 1920s due to an adverse report from Winchester, and that the society could not allocate grants for structural work surveys, particularly in view of the 1920s report. The diocesan surveyor had been contacted over this matter.

Mr.F.E.Collins stated that he had conducted a survey, in 1964,on behalf of the C.C. Tower and Belfries Committee. His report contained a copy of the 1925 report, and he hoped to locate a copy of this.

Mr.R.Cater stated that he understood that the actions taken in reviving ringing at Shanklin, and the training of a new band from members of the congregation, were activities for which the Guild existed. We should offer every support, and he had included an item about this band on the front page of the Guild newsletter. Mr.G.C. Grant stated that no officer should approach a diocesan surveyor concerning a church building without the approval of the incumbent or P.C.C.

Mr.Frodsham stated that, as District Chairman, he had to rule on the status of new Guild members elected to this tower, which is classified in our Guild Report as "Tower unsafe". He had ruled that such members be classified as Unattached, and asked for the meeting's guidance. Heated discussion followed.

It was proposed by Mr.A.P.Smith, and seconded by Mr.M.R.Hilson, that, Guild members ringing at this tower be listed under Shanklin. This was agreed, nem. con. It was proposed by Mr.A.P.Smith, and seconded by Mr.G.C.Grant, that the words "Tower unsafe" be removed from the listing of Shanklin in the Guild Report. This was carried, against 1. The Secretary asked if he should reply to the band and/or the incumbent. Mr.Frodsham volunteered to notify the band of the outcome on this item, and the Master ruled that such communication, at District level, was preferable.

A short break for tea followed at this point, after which the Master thanked Mrs. Le Marechal, and Mrs.Jackson, on behalf of the members present.

1986 Guild Calendar

These had been designed and drafted by Mr.G.C.Grant, were exceptionally striking, and were available, price £2, as the current fund raising venture for the Bell Restoration Fund. In the absence of Mr.R.M.Esbester, organiser of this venture, Mr.P.W. Hill distributed packets of 25 calendars to each District Secretary. The Master commented upon their high standard of workmanship and thanked Mr. Grant for the many hours he devoted to this project. The meeting expressed its appreciation with a round of applause.

Reports from convenors of sub-committees

(a) Social.

Mrs.A.Le Marechal read this report, prepared by Mrs.E.Chapman, concerning the Guild Dinner, held at the Bere House Hotel, Andover, on 20th April, and the cancelled River Boat Shuffle. This report was accepted on the proposition of Mr.Webster, seconded by Mr.White. Cdr.Harris asked if the Guild was out-of-pocket on the cancellation. Mrs.Le Marechal stated that the deposit of £35 was lost, but the event would have incurred a loss of over £100 with the small number due to attend.

(b) Education.

Mr.A.P.Smith, the retiring convenor, had been asked by Mr.H.L.Hatfield to prepare this report on his final year as convenor. This was accepted, on the proposition of Mr.J.Frodsham, seconded by Mr.G.C.Grant.

(c) Striking Competitions

In the absence of Mr.A.T.Collins, Mr.P.W.Hill read the report prepared for the 1985 Guild Report. This was accepted, on the proposition of Mr.R.Le Marechal, seconded by Mr.H.L.Hatfield. Mr.Hill announced details of the 1986 competitions:-

6-Bell28th June at Niton.
8-Bell and Inter-District17th May at Romsey.
10-Bell Inter-District25th October at Portsmouth.

Mr.Hill had brought copies of all four entry forms, and asked District Representatives to collect them from him.

Mr.Frodsham volunteered to organise transport arrangements for the 6-Bell competition, but Mr.Hill stated that Mr.P.Miller had this in hand. Mr.Hill asked who was responsible for submitting written reports on the competitions to "The Ringing World". The Master stated that this was part of the job-specification for the Guild P.R.O. Mr.Cater would be happy to do this unless members of the sub-committee wished to relieve him of this duty.

The Secretary announced that, following the 1985, 8-Bell Competition, he had been approached by the chairman of the C.C. Public Relations Committee concerning the 1985 Christmas Bells broadcast. Mr.Corby required a good, 8-Bell band (i.e. winners of a striking competition), on a heavy ring of bells from our Guild. The Secretary encouraged him to consider Eling, the winners, on their light eight, but was persuaded that Romsey band be the one selected (placed third in the competition)

Restoration Work

(a) St. Mary, Eversley. Augment 2 to 4 to 6.

Mr.R.Wilson reported that two new bells had been cast on 11th July, the ring of 4 hung by Whitechapel on 30th September and rung for Sunday service on 6th October. Two further bells had been cast on 7th November, and the dedication of the ring of 6 was planned for 16th February 1986.

(b) St. Peter, Goodworth Clatford. Augment 6 to 8.

Mr.J.Broad reported that the order for the new bells had been placed, and they would be cast at Whitechapel early in 1986. Work on the frame and belfry by the local band has been planned, and will commence after the last peal has been rung on the six.

(c) St. Nicholas, Kingsley. Redundant church with chime of 2.

The Secretary has been much involved with attempts to re-hang these bells, since the report of the restoration by the Parish Council in "Ringing World", issue 3879. No restoration has been applied to the tower, and its wooden beams are far too dangerous, and could not support the weight of bells.

(d) St. Mary, Abbots Ann. Ring of 5.

Mr.G.C.Grant reported that the D.A.C. had received a request to approve plans for augmentation to 6. This had been effected in committee.

(e) Netley Hospital - 3 silent, clock bells.

Mr.G.C.Grant informed the meeting that he had noted these bells while visiting Netley Country Park to inspect the restoration of the buildings. The Secretary had communicated with H.C.C., attempting to persuade them to release these bells for use in an augmentation. Various officials had replied, stating that the matter was under consideration.

(f) St. Mary, Carisbrooke. Ring of 8.

Mr.Frodsham stated that no ringing had taken place on these bells in 1985. There was some problem with the bearings of the 4th. However he had made arrangements for repairs to be effected locally.

(g) St. Saviour, Shanklin. Ring of 8.

Mr.Le Marechal reminded Mr.Frodsham that restoration of these bells by Mr.D.Weir had provided his district with another ringable octave.

Elections at 1986 A.G.M.

The Master reminded the meeting that the 1986 Guild A.G.M. would be held at Basingstoke on Saturday 5th July. After a very enjoyable two terms of office, Mrs. Davis did not wish to stand again for the office of Master. She asked District Representative to encourage their members to attend the A.G.M., to consider who they wished to act as Guild Officers, and to participate in the elections.

Date of next meeting

It was proposed by Mr. J.Colliss and seconded by Mr.A.Case that this be on Saturday 15th March, and that the Secretary be asked to book the St. Lawrence Parish Rooms, Winchester. This was agreed, nem. con.

Any other business

(a) The Secretary asked District Representatives to check 1986 dates recorded for ringing events, prior to his printing the full list for circulation before A.D.Ms.

(b) The Secretary pointed out that two, different, changes of rule 19 at the 1984 A.G.M. left us with no record in the Guild Report that the peal fee is 25p per ringer, with 40% of the total transferred to the Bell Restoration Fund.

(c) The Secretary reminded all convenors that a ruling, agreed at the 1984 Executive Committee Meeting, requires all financial statements to be printed in the Guild Report each year.

(d) The Guild Librarian, Mr.N.White, stated that he had obtained an estimate from Whitechapel for refurbishment of the Guild handbells. The cost was £180. The Guild Treasurer stated that we could easily cover, this cost with the Guild Reserve Fund. It was proposed by Mr.F.E.Collins, and seconded by Mr.Frodsham, that the librarian arrange for the Guild handbells to be put into good working order. This was carried, nem. con.

(e) Mr.A.P.Smith commented that there had been considerable discussion, in the columns of "The Ringing World", over the C.C. decisions upon peal ringing. A long article by Mr.A.W.R.Wilby, in "Ringing World", issue 3885, pages 871-872, attempted to elucidate the present position. He asked that opinions and questions from Guild members be directed to himself so that he could speak on behalf of Guild opinion.

(f) Mrs. F.Webster stated that the C. & S. District had arranged a quarterly meeting at St. Michael's, Southampton, after which they would join parishioners in a Barn Dance at the Chantry Hall.

The Master closed the meeting, with prayers, at 1730 hours.