A meeting of the Guild Executive Committee was held on Saturday 15th March 1986 in the St. Lawrence Parish Rooms, Colebrook Street, Winchester, at 1402 hours. Mrs Gilian Davis, the Guild Master, occupied the chair, supported by the Hon. General Secretary, Mr. D.C. Jackson, and the Hon. General Treasurer, Mr. J.P.Colliss. Mrs Davis commenced the meeting with a prayer, and then welcomed the 19 members present out of a total, maximum membership of 27. She reminded members that she would retire as Guild Master in July, and thanked members of the Executive for their tolerance and understanding during her six years of office.

Mrs. Davis welcomed Mrs. Julia Ladd to the Executive, following her election as District Secretary for the Isle of Wight.

Apologies for absence

The Secretary had received apologies from Messrs. Hill, Hilson, Smith and Wilson. Apologies were presented on behalf of Mrs. Le Marechal, and Messrs. Cater, Barnsdale, and Townsend. Messrs. Cater and Smith are now members of the Central Council Administrative Committee, whose meeting was also 15th March.

Loss of members through death

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

Mr.F.Bessent (Life Member, Hambledon); Mr.W.J.Marlow (Overton); Canon F.Saunders (Overton)


Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting held on 16th November 1985 had been duplicated and circulated by the Secretary. Cdr. Harris proposed an amendment to the factual information recorded under "Production of Guild Report". This was seconded by Mr. Knight and carried, nem. con. Mr. Case, Portsmouth District Secretary, commented that in "Correspondence", item j, Deaconess Hayter was NOT a paid-up, Guild member. Cdr. Harris explained that Catherington band had experienced administrative difficulties recently. It was agreed that the Secretary record Deaconess Hayter as "ringer", rather than as "member". The Master signed the amended minutes, on the proposition of Cdr. Harris, seconded by Mr. Knight.

Matters arising

Mrs. Ladd wished to raise several items under the heading "St.Saviour's, Shanklin":-

(a) She had attended the meeting of the "Society for the preservation of Isle of Wight church bells" referred to by Mr. Frodsham. The grant WAS allocated, the P.C.C, DID authorise the survey, and the survey has now been completed.

(b) The base of the tower was fenced off, BUT only in 1980, NOT in 1985. This was during the removal of the pinnacles from the tower.

(c) The band had received no communication from Mr. Frodsham over the decision of the Executive that members should be listed under Shanklin. The Guild Secretary reported that he too had received a letter from Mr. J.P.Darch, the tower secretary, asking for information, and had replied apologising for Mr. Frodsham's inefficiency.

The Secretary reported that Mr. F.E.Collins had discovered his copy of the report made in July 1964, and of the report made by Rev. C.E.Matthews in September 1925. Photocopies had been made of both, these were stored in the bulging file relating to Shanklin, and the originals had been returned to Mr. Collins.

(d) Mrs. Ladd wished to comment on item f under the heading "Restoration Work". Mr. Frodsham was completely incorrect with his statements concerning Carisbrooke. The bells HAD been rung regularly for the six months before repairs were necessary in 1985. Mr. Frodsham was NOT involved in any way with arrangements for repairs to the bearings.

(e) The Secretary had written a letter of welcome to the Very Revd. B.A. O'Ferrall, welcoming him as Dean of Jersey, and inviting him to maintain the tradition by acting as Vice-President of our Guild.

(f) The Secretary had written to Mrs. Cater concerning ringing at Winchester Cathedral by the Channel Islands members in October, at the insistence of Mr. Cater.

(g) Mr. A.T.Collins stated that the Striking Competitions sub-committee wished to accept Mr. Cater's offer, as P.R.O., to write reports of the various competitions for "The Ringing World".

(h) Mr. White commented that the "damp chaser" might not now be required for the Guild Library since the authorities at St. Mary's, Southampton, had agreed to maintain heating in the church, at a low level, during the week.

(i) The Secretary presented the Librarian with copies of dedication services sent to him during the past year. This was intended to satisfy Mr. Smith's concern, and to mollify his anxiety.


(a) The Secretary had received a Christmas Card sent to the Guild by the Bishop of Portsmouth. Over the festivities it occupied a niche on his mantelpiece, but he offered it now for general circulation.

(b) The Secretary reminded members that the first Guild peal of Grandsire Caters was rung at Leatherhead 100 years ago. He challenged each district to attempt a similar peal, suggesting it could act as suitable practice for the inter-district, 10-bell striking competition.

(c) Mr. Cater had sent a short message, via. Mr. Grant, stating his inability to attend the national gathering of Guild Public Relations Officers in London on Saturday 29th March. The Secretary suggested that Miss J. Reed, the Winchester District Press Officer, might be able to represent the Guild if her expenses were covered. It was proposed by Mr. White and seconded by Mr. Grant, that the Secretary write to Miss Reed, asking her to act on behalf of the Guild. This was carried, nem.con.

(d) The Secretary commented that the Central Council Public Relations Committee had advertised, in "Ringing World", issue 3897, a free issue of porch and belfry cards for five different purposes. He had sent for one copy of each, and had photocopied the relevant page of "The Ringing World" for distribution to District Secretaries. The Guild P.R.O. had been requested to obtain a supply in order to fulfill demands from Guild members.

(e) Mr. Cater had sent a letter to all Guild Secretaries, advertising the Central Council Ringing School at Hadlow, Kent, during July 1986. He invited Guilds to consider sponsoring students. Mr. Hatfield proposed and Mr. Le Marechal seconded, that districts be invited to consider sponsoring students. This was carried, nem. con.

(f) The Secretary had received notification of a Central Council Seminar on "The Teaching of Ringing", planned for 4th October 1986. Mr. Hatfield requested that the Education sub-committee deal with this.

(g) Mr. Cater had received a letter from Mr. Philip Gray asking for personal help with Australia's Centennial Bells Appeal. Mr.Cater requested help from the Guild, but it was proposed by Cdr. Harris, and seconded by Mr.F.E.Collins, that this matter be left to individual ringers. This was carried.

Hon. General Secretary's report

This had been duplicated and circulated with agenda, Mrs. Webster and Mr. Le Marechal indicated two errors, which were corrected. It was proposed by Cdr. Harris that this corrected report appear in the 1985 Guild Report. This was seconded by Mr. White, and carried, nem. con.

Hon. General Treasurer's report

Mr. Colliss had duplicated this in advance, and the Secretary circulated copies with agenda. Copies of the accounts were circulated by the Treasurer. Mr. Broad announced that, on a recount, Andover District members had increased by 6. This enabled the Treasurer to state that our official membership for 1985 was 939. The Treasurer's accounts were accepted on the proposition of Mr. F.E.Collins, seconded by Mr. White.

Hon. Peal Recorder's report

Mr.R.Le Marechal presented the details due for printing in the 1985 Guild Report. Mr. Colliss proposed that we accept the submitted report, this was seconded by Mr. A.T. Collins, and carried. Mr. Le Marechal then read a letter from Mr. A.P.Smith, written in his position of chairman of the Central Council Methods Committee, concerning peals of Bristol Surprise Minimus and Real Stedman Minimus rung for our Guild at Brimpton, conducted by Mr. G.K.Dodd. The latter is attempting to persuade the Central Council Peals Analysis Committee that these unusual performances should be accepted as true peals, although they contravene C.C. Decisions (D) A.11, (E) A, and (E) A.1. It was proposed by Cdr. Harris and seconded by Mr. Le Marechal, that our Central Council representatives be guided by their own conscience if called upon to vote on this matter. This was agreed.

Hon. Librarian's report

Mr. White presented this report and the accounts of the library fund, in anticipation of their appearance in the 1985 Guild Report. These were accepted, on the proposition of Mr. F.E.Collins, seconded by Mr. White.

Mr. White asked if we could obtain a suitable box to house the handbells, and replace the present, battered, suitcase. Mr. Esbester stated that one of Portsmouth Cathedral ringers had a father who makes the wooden, handbell cases for Whitechapel foundry. He promised to investigate further, and to communicate with Mr. White. Mr. White stated that, during the year, many bound copies of "Ringing Worlds" had been borrowed but little else. The Master asked if members could be encouraged, at district level, to make greater use of our library.

Guild Public Relations Officer's report

Neither the Secretary nor the Report Editor had received a copy of this report. The Master had received a hand-written version, assumed to be a copy of the official report, and this was read out. Following some deletions, Mr. Hatfield proposed the printing of the amended report. This was seconded by Mr. White, and agreed, nem. con. Mr. P.Hill commented that the Guild Newsletter was much appreciated, and could be produced twice a year if there is a superfluity of submitted verbiage.

Requirements for election to Guild membership

At the meeting on 16th November 1985, Mr. Frodsham had stated that the Guild Report contained names of members who had never learnt to handle a bell, and the Master promised that an opportunity would be provided to discuss this matter. Mr. Hatfield stated that our Guild once had a minimum method capability necessary before election to membership, that some Guilds still retained this requirement, but that such a condition could deflect those at a probationary stage desirous of affiliation. The Master stated that non-ringers can be united with us via. Associate Membership, as outlined in Rule 6c, page 18, 1984 Guild Report. Mr.P.Hill asked if all District Secretaries could draw the attention of their district members to this little known class of membership, and the Treasurer referred to the subscription required of them, on page 3, 1984 Report.

1985 Guild Report

Cdr. Harris had obtained estimates for the printing of our Guild Report from several firms. All were in excess of £1000, with the exception of John Longridge, whose 20% reduction would reduce the cost to £868. He commented that the standard of contributions received was the best ever, and he congratulated all concerned. Mr.W.O. Haythorne had approached the editor concerning the possibility of using photo-reduced, peal reports from "The Ringing World", as adopted by the London County Association. This was under investigation. Mr. P.Hill asked if any blank spaces could be utilised for the printing of peal compositions.


The Treasurer stated that, following his comments in his report concerning the slight loss, it was necessary to consider an increase in subscriptions. He proposed that the A.G.M. should consider that subscriptions only for compounding, annual, and associate membership be increased, and that all these increase from £2 to £3. This was seconded by Mr. Le Marechal, and was carried, against 1. The Secretary stated that such changes no longer required a change of rule and advance notification.

Bell Restoration Fund

Mr. Colliss had duplicated the Trustees' report in advance, and circulated copies of the accounts due for printing in the Guild Report. These were accepted, on the proposition of Mr. White, seconded by Mr. A.T.Collins. Mr. Colliss pointed out that the £500 grant allocated to Goodworth Clatford tower would shortly be paid. Mr. Esbester stated that a profit had been obtained from the sale of the 1986 Guild Calendars, but, alas, twenty copies remained unsold due to Mr. Frodsham's inactivity in the Isle of Wight district.

Bells in redundant churches. Restoration work.

The Secretary had duplicated and circulated a report of current restoration work. Mr. Le Marechal proposed and Mr. White seconded that the duplicated report appear in the 1985 Guild Report. This was carried, nem. con.

1986 Guild Striking Competitions

Mr. A.T. Collins, convener of the sub-conmittee, summarised the events planned:-

(a) 8-Bell and 8-Bell inter-district.

17th May. Romsey Abbey. There would be no formal tea; just tea and biscuits served in the hall all afternoon.

(b) 6-Bell.

28th June. Niton. A barbecue and barn dance would be arranged in the evening, and arrangements would be made to accommodate participants wishing to stay the night. Coaches would meet bands at either Ryde or Cowes, the cost depending upon the total number of passengers.

(c) 10-Bell inter-district.

25th October. Portsmouth Cathedral. The sub-committee had been asked to consider participation by Southampton University Guild of Change Ringers. They usually participated in the 8-Bell competition, and sometimes in the 6-Bell. Much heated discussion followed, mainly on the status of this organisation. Mr. Grant proposed, and Mr.Hill seconded, that they be allowed to participate. 6 members voted for and 8 against.

Mr. Collins stated that venues were required for the 1987 competitions, and asked if the Isle of Wight district could host the 8-Bell event, and if Basingstoke district could host the 6-Bell event.

1986 Guild Festival in the Channel Islands

In the absence of Mr. Hilson, the Secretary reported that our Guernsey members were hard at work on the preparations, and that 88 bookings were confirmed to date.

Guild A.G.M.

This will take place in Basingstoke on Saturday 5th July 1986. Miss W. Lines outlined arrangements for the day, which included the service preceding the meeting, as requested by Mr. Smith at the 1985 A.G.M. The meeting would be held in Trinity Hall, and the tea in Church Cottage Hall. The Master thanked Miss Lines, and complimented her on her efficiency.

Date of next meeting

To coincide with Mr. Hilson's visit to the mainland it was agreed to arrange the autumn meeting for Saturday 15th November. The Secretary was asked to book St. Lawrence Parish Rooms again.

Any other business

(a) Mr. Hatfield announced that Mr. Wilson had resigned from the Education sub-committee, with effect from the 1986 A.G.M. He asked if the Executive Committee wished his sub-committee to co-opt a replacement member. This was agreed.

(b) Mrs. J.Ladd, the Isle of Wight district secretary, asked if it was in order for her district to elect officers annually. She was assured by the Master that districts were autonomous, provided they conformed with the Guild Rules.

The Master closed the meeting, with prayers, at 1700 hours.