A meeting of the Guild Executive was held on Saturday 15th November 1986 in the headquarters of the 1st Totton Guide Company, starting at 1430 hours. The Immediate Past Master, Mrs. Gilian Davis, occupied the chair, supported by the Hon. General Secretary, Mr.D.C.Jackson, and the Hon. Treasurer, Mr.M.Bubb. Mrs Davis opened the meeting with prayers, and then read a message from the Master, Rev.B.J.Fry, who was leading a parish pilgrimage to the Holy Land, planned months before his election as Guild Master. Mrs Davis also explained the change of venue, due to the non-availability of St. Lawrence Parish Rooms, and welcomed the 23 members present out of a total, maximum membership of 30. The following, new members, were introduced:-

Mr.M. Bubb - Hon. Treasurer.
Mr.S. Dunster - Report Editor.
Miss J.W. Reed - Public Relations Officer.
Mr.M.K. Waldron - Bell Restoration Funds Trustee, Winchester Diocese.

Apologies for absence

Telephoned apologies had been received from Mrs.W. Hoar and Mr. R. Wilson. A written apology had been sent by Mr. H. Routh. Mr. A. Townsend's apology was presented.

Loss of members through death

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

Mrs. C.Davis (née Hassell) (Overton); Rear Admiral D.Everett (Milford on Sea); Mr. D.Matthews (Hinton Admiral); Mr. A.Scott (Alverstoke).

Honorary Life Members

Mr. A. Barnsdale stated that he lacked a 1936 Guild Report, and hence was unable to confirm or deny the statements of District Secretaries that there were no further members eligible for election to Life Membership. Mr. M.Hilson wished to propose that the retiring Channel Islands District chairman, Senator Rev. P.G.K. Manton, be elected as an Honorary Life Member. As one of our few Guild members to experience German occupation during World War II he had maintained his enthusiasm for bells and bellringing. Almost singled-handed he had organised the funding and establishment of the new octave at St. John's, Jersey. This was seconded by Mr. M.Bubb, and carried, nem.con.

Alterations to information in the Guild Report

The Secretary circulated photocopies of changes known to him. Mr. Hatfield asked that the list of Education Committee Members, on page 2, be amended, as follows:-

Delete R.M.Esbester and R.Wilson; Add B.J.Woodruffe.


Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting, held on 15th March 1986, had been duplicated and circulated by the Secretary. The meeting agreed with Mr. Cater that the appeal from Australia was for their Bi centenary, but did not agree that Mrs. Cater should be referred to as Winchester Tower Secretary rather than by name. The chairman signed the Minutes on the proposition of Mrs. Webster, seconded by Mr.Knight.

Matters arising

(a) The Secretary had approached Miss J.W.Reed concerning representing the Guild at the gathering of Guild P.R.Os. in London, on 29th March 1986. Miss Reed gave a résumé of this meeting, attended by 75% of Guilds from the U.K., mentioning that Mrs. B.Coggin of Bishops Waltham tower attended as a private individual.

(b) Peals to celebrate the centenary of the Guild's first peal of Grandsire Caters had been attempted only by Christchurch & Southampton, and by Alton & Petersfield districts. Neither were successful.

(c) Mr.Hatfield stated that two places had been booked for the C.C.Seminar on "The Teaching of Ringing", held at Northampton on 4th October 1986. Unfortunately neither he nor Mr. Foot were able to attend, but he referred to the account of the course in "Ringing World", issue 3941.

(d) Mr.A.P.Smith reported on the fate of the two, contentious peals of Minimus at Brimpton. Mr.G.K.Dodd withdrew the Bristol Surprise Minimus, and the Real Stedman Minimus was not accepted by the C.C. Peals Analysis Committee.

(e) Mr.R.M.Esbester stated that Mr. Newman, senior, maker of handbell cases, had been contacted, but he required the dimensions before quoting a price. Recently he had been hospitalised.

(f) The Secretary reminded members that Mr. Outram Haythorne had suggested we reduce the cost of the Guild Report by using photo-reduced peal reports from "The Ringing World". Mr.Dunster, the Report Editor, and Messrs. Smith and Knight, spoke against this, mentioning the poor quality in the London County Report.

(g) Mr.R.Knight stated that Andover District subsidised one member to attend the C.C. Ringing School, and such was the enthusiasm generated that the district intended to repeat this.

(h) Mr.M.K.Waldron commented upon the several items relating to the troubles at Shanklin, and the problems originating from Mr. Frodsham's involvement. Mrs. Davis assured him that all problems there now seemed resolved.


(i) The Secretary circulated copies of the data sent for printing in the 1987 Ringers' Diary.

(ii) A letter of thanks had been received from Mr. G.K.Dodd, following receipt of the £600 grant for Highclere.

(iii) A similar letter had been received from the appeal secretary of Kings Somborne, following receipt of the £250 grant.

(iv) The Secretary had written to welcome the new Diocesan Assistant Secretary at Winchester, and Mr.Woods had replied, explaining that he had just become a learner bellringer at Grayshott. He confirmed that the move by Hampshire County Council to include North Tidworth within its boundary would not change the status as a parish of the Salisbury Diocese.

(v) A letter from the tower Captain at Leatherhead disputed that our first peal of Grandsire Caters was the 6047 rung at Leatherhead on 8th January 1886. It is not recorded for the Winchester Diocesan Guild in their records. He enclosed details of peals, numbered 22 to 33, rung at Leatherhead between 1880 and 1900, and asked if our Guild could check these details. Our Guild Peal Recorded had discovered discrepancies between this list and our records, and the Secretary had photocopied details for those interested.

(vi) A letter from the Rector of Sherfield-on-Loddon informed the Guild that the single bell from the redundant church of All Saints, Stratfield Turgis, had been presented to the new church of St. Mark, Kempshott, Basingstoke. Another letter requested loan of a copy of "Hampshire Church Bells", and the Guild Librarian had solved his need.

(vii) The Secretary had written to the Dummer band following their appearance on television ringing for the engagement of Prince Andrew and Miss Sarah Ferguson, a resident of Dummer. He had also visited the band, learnt the details of their quarter-peals of Minimus, with a Tenor cover, and supplied them with further copies of Minimus methods. He had attempted to encourage them to join with Micheldever band, in order to make progress with change ringing, since they were not anxious to co-operate with members of the Basingstoke District. The Secretary was also concerned over the condition of the bell fittings, since a considerable part of the church structure seemed to shake when they are rung. Miss Reed stated that she had visited the band and had been made welcome. However they had not responded to invitations to visit Micheldever. Mr.Waldron stated that Dummer bells certainly needed some attention.

(viii) As a consequence of the large wedding card sent to the Royal couple, signed by Guild members during the Festival and the A.G.M., the Secretary had received a letter from Buckingham Palace. Photocopies were distributed so that District Secretaries could read the message to their district members during their Annual District Meetings.

(ix) The Secretary offered copies of pamphlets on "Rope Care", obtained from John Pritchards

Visit to mainland towers by Channel Islands District

Mr. Hilson explained that this visit had been cancelled, but that the district hoped to organise it in 1987. However, the ringers from St. Pierre du Bois had already made bookings for travel and accommodation, and thus arranged a separate, tower outing to Hampshire.

Production of Guild Report

Mr.A.A.J. Buswell had written to all members of the Executive, with a suggestion for an improvement in the Report's layout. All Tower locations, number of bells, practice nights, and Sunday ringing times would be incorporated into a four page summary in the middle of the Report, with extra copies available in belfries for distribution to visitors. Everyone had received a computer printout of these extra pages.

Mr. Hilson objected to "lobbying" of Executive members by Mr.Buswell, and to his various telephone calls to the Channel Islands concerning the use of U.T.M. grid reference in the islands. Messrs. Esbester and Le Marechal expressed appreciation of the hard work Mr. Buswell has devoted to his idea for improvement, and, in particular, the expense of producing and posting so many copies of his idea. The Report Editor stated that he had discussed the matter with Mr. Buswell, who had offered access to his computer during the production of our Report. However, Mr. Dunster discovered that, being a … system it was not compatible with more conventional systems, and the printer was not of the high quality needed. Both Messrs. Smith and Barsby explained that a high-quality, back-up system could be made available.

The chairman conducted a "straw-poll" to ascertain the support for the extra information. Since the majority was in favour, the Secretary was asked to write to Mr. Buswell, thanking him, and the Report Editor was asked to report back to the next Executive on this matter.

Report by Social sub-committee

Mrs. A. Le Marechal read the report, prepared by the convenor, Mrs. E.Chapman, concerning events planned by this sub-committee. The report was accepted, on the proposition of Mr.N.White, seconded by Mr.Cater. Mr.Case drew attention to the date for the 1987 Dinner, clashing with a Portsmouth District quarterly meeting.

Report by Education sub-committee

Mr.H.L.Hatfield presented the report on Ringing Schools and Maintenance Courses. This was accepted, on the proposition of Mr.Barnsdale, seconded by Mr.A.T.Collins. Mr. Hatfield commented that late applications for the Ringing School were still being received.

Report by Striking Competitions sub-committee

Mr.A.T.Collins read the report concerning the four competitions organised during 1986. This was accepted, on the proposition of Mr. Le. Marechal, seconded by Mr.Hatfield. Mr.Collins announced that the 1987 8-Bell competitions would be organised for 16th May, and the 6-Bell for 27th June.

Restoration Work

(a) All Hallows, Whitchurch. Augment 8 to 10.

Mr.R.Knight stated that the P.C.C. had adopted a Parish Development Plan, which included the augmentation from 8 to 10 bells by the addition of two tenor bells. Anticipated cost was £23000

(b) Netley Hospital. 3 clock bells hung dead.

Attempts by the Secretary and the D.A.C. representative to persuade Hampshire County Council Recreation Department to donate these bells for an augmentation project have been unsuccessful.

(c) St.Catherine,Ventnor. Possible location for a light ring of 6.

The Secretary had contacted Rev. Pickering, who has replied that he is still thinking about this idea.

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

Mr.Knight reported that the new octave were dedicated on 21st June 1986, and that an Andover District band had scored the first peal on the bells.

(e) St. Peter-on-the-Green, Froxfield. Single bell.

The Guild was notified by the A. & P. district secretary, in 1978, that this bell had been lowered from the tower, and was unwanted and unused. The Secretary was informed about this in 1985 and has entered into much correspondence trying to acquire this bell for an augmentation project. The church warden has now written to say that St. Peter's, Froxfield, may be closed, and hence St. Peters-on-the-Green may be reused. If this happens the single bell may be required again.

(f) St. John the Baptist, Itchen Abbas. Chime of 3.

The Vicar has enquired if it is feasible to replace the exterior chime with a single bell hung inside the church. Mr. Grant suggested that the Vicar be advised to approach the D.A.C. first.

(g) St. Mary, Fordingbridge.

Mr.Grant reported that fund raising, initiated by Rev. Southwood, for a memorial to the late Mr.R.Marlow, resulted in the casting of a small bell. He has visited Fordingbridge to advise on the hanging of it within the tower as a sanctus bell.

(h) St. Peter, Hurstbourne Tarrant. 4 bells (Unringable)

Mr.Grant was asked to advise on repairs to this installation, where the bells are swung chimed by two of the parishioners. The frame is in a dangerous condition, and he has advised that money is raised to effect repairs. Mr. Grant also visited St. Barnabas, Faccombe, part of the joint parish, and found the three bells hung for swing chiming, one bell being cracked.

Mrs. Davis commented that she had been the guest of the Guild of St. Agatha in October, and, before their dinner, a tower outing had been arranged to Roman Catholic churches in the New Forest. Many of them were found equipped with chimes or rings of 3 bells.

Date and Venue of next meeting

Mr.A.P.Smith stated that he and Mr.Cater were chairmen of C.C. Committees, and are committed to attending the C.C. Administrative Committee Meeting on the third Saturday every March. He asked if the traditional date of our Guild Executive Meeting could be moved from that Saturday. Mrs. Davis ruled that this must be discussed when the Master chairs the next meeting. Mr.Barnsdale proposed and Mr.Le.Marechal seconded that we meet again on 21st March 1987. This was carried, against 3. The Secretary explained that he had already booked St. Lawrence Parish Rooms for that date. The meeting agreed on this venue.

Any Other Business

(i) Miss Reed stated that she was working on the next Guild Newsletter. She had received contributions from all but one district. She had persuaded the Rector of Micheldever to reproduce the pages at a cost of £20. Mr.Grant had designed a new cover, and she suggested we fund the printing of 1000, in the cause of economy. If this was agreed she would have the newsletter ready for distribution by Christmas. Several members present made offers of help to Miss Reed. Mr.A.P.Smith proposed, and Mr. Esbester seconded, that we provide the P.R.O. with a float of £75, and leave financial decisions in her hands. This was agreed, nem. con.

(ii) Mr.R.Knight stated that information from the Education sub-committee often arrives just after Andover District A.D.Ms. or quarterlys. In view of the extra cost to the district with subsequent posting, he asked that material arrive earlier. Mr.Hatfield concurred.

(iii) Mr.Esbester explained that the amount of work involved prevented Mr.Grant from producing a Guild calendar for 1987. So far he had received £321 from the sale of the 1986 calendars, which cost £178-71, taken from the Central Fund. He proposed, and Mr.Le. Marechal seconded, that the full £321 should be paid into the B.R.F. This was agreed, nem. con.

(iv) Mr.Grant stated that Winchester Cathedral bells had recently been recorded, to be used on the new radio station "Ocean Sound".

Mrs. Davis closed the meeting, with prayers, at 1730 hours.