A meeting of the Guild Executive Committee was held on Saturday 21st March 1987 in the St. Lawrence Parish Rooms, Winchester, at 1405 hours. Rev.B.J.Fry, the Guild Master, occupied the chair, supported by the Hon. General Secretary, Mr.D.C.Jackson, and the Hon. General Treasurer, Mr.M.Bubb. The chairman opened the meeting with prayers, welcomed the 21 members present out of a maximum possible attendance of 30, and thanked the Immediate Past Master for chairing the November Executive Meeting during his absence in the Holy Land.

The following were introduced as new members of the Executive:-

Mrs.V.WILLIAMS- Alton and Petersfield District Secretary.
Mrs.H.PEACHEY- Basingstoke District Secretary.
Mr.A.BARSBY- Basingstoke representative.
Mrs.J.DUNSTER- Portsmouth District Secretary.
Mr.R.MILFORD- Social Committee representative.

Apologies for absence

The Secretary had received apologies from Messrs. Cater, Hatfield, Hill, Hilson, and Smith, from Mrs.E.Johnson and from Ms.J.Weir. Apologies were presented on behalf of Mr.A.Barnsdale.

Loss of members through death

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

Mr.P.Ball (Milford-on-Sea); Mr.H.Dudman (Life Member, Soberton); Mr.W.Freeman (Life Member, Sopley); Miss P.Jenkins (Hinton Admiral); Mr.V.Shadbolt (Life Member, Blackmoor), Also included was Rev.R.Keeley, Master of the Salisbury Diocesan Guild.


Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting held on 15th November 1986 had been duplicated and circulated by the Secretary. The chairman signed these on the proposition of Mr.Le.Marechal, seconded by Mr.A.T.Collins.

Matters arising

(a) Mr.Esbester stated that Mr.Newman (senior), maker of handbell cases for Whitechapel foundry, had recently died. His son was prepared to complete all outstanding orders placed with their firm before it is closed. Since the order for our set of handbells was only tentative, Mr.Esbester had contacted the Secretary to decide on the placing of the order. Their decision to do so was then confirmed by the Executive, on the proposition of the Master.

(b) The Secretary reported that he had written to Mr.A.A.J.Buswell, thanking him for the copious supply of data concerning his suggested improvements to the Guild Report, and explaining the decision made on this matter at the last Executive Meeting. Mr.Buswell had replied, enclosing another voluminous collection of information which must be discussed later in the agenda.

(c) Mrs.V.Williams stated that the inhabitants of Froxfield were unaware of any proposed closure of St.Peter's church, and that appeals for a restoration scheme were in circulation.

(d) Miss.J.W.Reed stated that the first edition of her Guild Newsletter had been produced and circulated. The float of £75 allocated at the last meeting had only been partly used, and she had £44 in hand. Mr.A.T.Collins pointed out that two of the dates mentioned in the Newsletter were incorrect. The Master congratulated the P.R.O. on the first issue and commented that it had been well received by Guild members he had met.


(a) The Secretary had written to all newly-elected officers, following the Triennial Elections at the 1986 A.G.M. He had encouraged them to attend A.D.Ms. during January and February in order to facilitate familiarisation, and he wished to thank those who effected this suggestion.

(b) Mr.A.A.J.Buswell had enclosed in his letter an analysis of quarter-peals rung in the Guild area. The P.R.O. suggested she be the recipient, using the information in one of the Guild Newsletters.

(c) The Secretary had written to all District Secretaries in November, as required by the 1983 Executive Committee ruling, giving dates of events planned for 1987.

(d) The Secretary had received details of a Bellringing Summer School at Keele University in August.

(e) Details of a one-day seminar on bell restoration, planned by the Central Council at Northampton on 4th April 1987, were outlined by the Secretary. Mr.M.K.Waldron proposed, and Mrs.H.Peachey seconded, that the chairman of the Andover District (Mr. R.J.Knight) be invited to represent the Guild at this event. In his position as B.R.F. Trustee, Mr.Waldron informed the meeting that two bell restoration schemes were planned in the Andover District, at Hurstbourne Tarrant and Whitchurch.

(f) The one-day seminar, above, supports the 1987 initiative by the Central Council Bell Restoration Funds Committee to promote the restoration of the 520 unringable sets of bells in the U.K. Each P.C.C. will receive a package of information, and one is also sent to each Guild Secretary. The latter was displayed by the Secretary, who stated that, following Mr.Colliss's return to the C.C. in 1985, the following parishes are recorded as unringable in our Guild area:-

Gosport; Guernsey St. Peter Port; Hurstbourne Tarrant; Netley; Newchurch; Ovington; Pamber; Shanklin; Winchester St. John the Baptist; Winchester St. Michael in the Soke.

The Master proposed that we request a supply of the free pamphlets to supply one to each District Secretary, and that we order, through a District Bookstall, one copy of the booklet for each District. This was carried nem.con. Mr.A.C.Webster volunteered the services of the C. and S. bookstall.

(g) Two items had been received from the Central Council Education Committee. The first involved a national seminar on the teaching of ringing, to be held at Northampton on 17th October 1987. The Secretary agreed to photocopy this and circulate it to District Secretaries. The second concerned the annual C.C.Ringing School, planned for 24-26th July 1987 at Hadlow, in Kent. Photocopies were circulated to District Secretaries.

(h) Mr.D.Holmes of Overton had produced another book, this time on all the church bells in Basingstoke District. Copies cost £2-40, and all profits were intended for our B.R.F. The Secretary had placed two advertisements in "The Ringing World". He hoped the Executive would authorise this expenditure. The Master proposed such authorisation from the chair, and this was carried.

(i) Mr.G.K.Dodd and the Secretary of the Highclere P.C.C. had written to thank the Guild for a grant of £600 towards their bell restoration.

(j) Mr.Le Marechal presented the Secretary with a letter from the badge makers Fattorini. It had been delivered to 20, Edward Avenue, Bishopstoke.

Hon. General Secretary's report

This had been duplicated and circulated with agenda. Two factual errors were corrected by the Secretary, and it was then adopted, on the proposition of Mr.Le Marechal, seconded by Mr.M.K.Waldron.

Hon. General Treasurer's report

Mr.Bubb circulated copies of this report and of the accounts. These were accepted, on the proposition of Mr N.White, seconded by Mr.A.Barsby.

Hon. Peal Recorder's report

Mr.R. Le Marechal presented details of the 121 peals, and his summary, due for printing in the next Guild Report. There had been an increase of 24 since 1985. Mr.R.M.Esbester proposed adoption of this report. It was seconded by Mr.R. Milford, and carried nem.con.

Hon. Librarian's report

Mr.N.M.White presented this report, and the library fund accounts. He stated that this report and a new inventory of the contents of the library would appear in the Guild Report. Separate copies of this inventory would be available for use in later years. Mr.R.M.Esbester proposed acceptance of this report, and also that the library fund be "topped-up" to £50, as usual. This was seconded by Mr.Le Marechal, and carried.

Mr.White explained that his latest contact with Southampton University librarians over accommodation of our library in the special collection had evolved the following conditions:-

(i) the books but not the bookcase could be accommodated.

(ii) the books must be deposited for a minimum of 25 years. The library will renovate and repair them, free of charge.

(iii) the books will not necessarily be stored together.

(iv) the books must be available for use by any member of the library.

Mr.M.K.Waldron stated that we are making difficulties for our members over the use of their library. He proposed that we continue investigations for another venue. This was seconded by Mr.R.H.Routh, and carried. Both Mrs.G.W.Davis and Mr. G.C.Grant promised to investigate further.

Mr.A.K.Barsby requested that Mr.D.A.Holmes book be purchased for the library. The Secretary stated that Mr.Barsby had kindly donated a copy of his book, "The Eversley Bells", to the library.

Guild Public Relations Officer's report

Miss.J.W.Reed presented her report and inventory of publicity material. The latter would appear either in the Guild Report or in the next Newsletter. Appreciation of Miss Reed's first Newsletter was repeated. The report was accepted, on the proposition of Mr.A.K.Barsby, seconded by Mr.N.M.White.

Guild Membership Secretary

In Mr. Barnsdale's absence there was nothing to report.

1986 Guild Report

Mr.S.Dunster reported that all items had been received, together with a special item on the Guild Festival in the Channel Islands. Four advertisements had been obtained. Three quotations for printing indicated that, as usual, J.Longridge was the cheapest. He proposed that we accept this estimate of £886 for 1200 copies. This was seconded by Mr.A.Case, and carried. Mr.Le Marechal proposed, and Mr.R.M.Esbester seconded, that we now list Liss Campanile under the A. and P. District. On being put to the vote, after discussion, 13 voted for, 0 voted against, and there were 9 abstentions.

Mr.Buswell's suggestion for extra pages containing a summary of practice nights, tower details and Sunday ringing times would be considered when the Report Editor had produced Reports in the standard layout, and Mr.Buswell was agreeable to this and pleased that his ideas had evolved so much interest. Mr.Barsby proposed that we test the use of this summary by photocopying the sample so that every tower had a copy. This was seconded by Mrs.H.Peachey, who volunteered to produce 160 copies and claim the cost from the Guild Treasurer.

Bells in redundant churches. Restoration work

The Secretary had duplicated and circulated a report of current restoration work. Mr.N.M.White proposed, and Mr.G.C.Grant seconded, that the duplicated report appear in the next Guild Report. This was carried.

1987 Guild Striking Competitions

Mr.A.T.Collins, convenor of the committee, gave details of these events:-

(a) 8-Bell.

Afternoon of 16th May. St.Peter, Petersfield. Judge - Robin Walker.

(b) 8-Bell Inter-District.

Evening of 16th May. All Saints, East Meon. Judge - Robin Walker.

(c) 6-Bell.

Afternoon of 27th June. All Saints, Odiham. Judge - Howard Egglestone.

Mr.Le Marechal was highly critical of the choice of Odiham in view of their various difficulties. Mr. Collins replied that this is the choice of Basingstoke District who were asked to host it.

Guild Order of Service

Mrs.H.Peachey explained that our printed service sheet was not popular with some clergy who preferred a modern approach. The hymns in the sheet had no specific tunes, and the organist was left to find one which fitted. Sometimes this choice left the congregation silent. Mrs.F.Webster stated that the C. and S. District have a list of tunes, and Mr.R.H.Routh echoed this for A. and P. District. Mr.G.C. Grant stated that organists needed NAMES of tunes since there were now so many hymn books available. The Secretary pointed out that there were many new service sheets in stock, available at 15p per copy. After discussion the Master asked that Mrs. Peachey discuss the matter with Mr.A.Hoar and Rev. Michael Perry, and report back to the next meeting.

Andover District 60th Anniversary

In the absence of Mr.R.J.Knight, the Master outlined the arrangements planned to celebrate this event in 1988.

Guild A.G.M.

This will take place in the Isle of Wight on 4th July 1987. Ms.J.Weir had sent outline plans, and the Secretary circulated photocopies. Mr.R.M.Esbester pointed out that very little ringing was included and asked if more could be made available. After some discussion the Master asked the Secretary to communicate with Ms.Weir, asking that the number of towers be increased and asking for the cost of each tour.

For 1988 the venue would be the A. and P. District. The Master explained that it had been suggested at their A.D.M. that Liss would be a suitable venue, but that the Church fete always took place on the first Saturday in July. If we could change the date, Liss could be used as a venue. Mr.R.H.Routh stated that his district did not have to utilise Liss since there were many suitable venues. Mrs.G.W.Davis proposed, and Mr.R.Le Marechal seconded, that we continue to use the first Saturday in July. This was carried by 11 votes to 1.

Date of next meeting

After some discussion it was agreed that we meet on Saturday 12th December, in the same hall, if possible.

The Secretary reminded the meeting that Messrs. Smith and Cater were chairmen of C.C. Committees, and hence were always required at the C.C.Administrative Committee Meeting on the third Saturday in March. Mrs.G.W.Davis also pointed out that our use of that day would coincide with Holy Saturday in the future. The Master proposed from the chair that we change our March meeting to the second Saturday, and this was agreed unanimously.

Any other business

(a) Mr.A.T.Collins wished to suggest an amendment to Guild Rule 19, Peals. Instead of the requirement for a majority of the band to be members of the Guild he suggested substituting "at least half of whom …" There were problems with peal bands formed on the boundaries of our Guild, with other Guilds making similar restrictions. The Guildford Guild had adopted this change, and the W. and P. should permit recognition of peals containing 50% resident members. He proposed this as a change of rule, and Mr.R Le Marechal seconded. Many spoke in favour, but Mr.R.M. Esbester insisted that peals should be rung by the Guild rather than for the Guild. On being put to the vote this was carried by 12 votes against 1.

(b) The Master reminded the meeting that Andover District would also propose a change of rule 8. This would require that subscriptions be paid by the end of March rather than the following December.

(c) Mr.R.M.Esbester stated that life is made difficult for the General Secretary. Other organisations appointed a Minute Secretary so that the Secretary could deal with questions, concentrate on current business, and look up references without having to take Minutes as well. He suggested that we establish this practice in our Guild organisation. Mrs.Webster suggested that the Executive co-opt a member to undertake this task. The Master suggested that the Secretary trawl for volunteers, and report back.

(d) Mr.A.K.Barsby reported that Basingstoke District, under its new officers, was initiating a number of "awareness of ringing" events. This involved a District Outing, a "ringing awareness day" on 15th August, and a quarter-peal day on 24th October. All new members would henceforth receive a free membership certificate. The Master commended the District Officers on their good works.

(e) The Master stated that Ringwood were celebrating the anniversary of their first peal on their bells 100 years ago next 1st August. The 100th peal would be attempted, and a Dinner, display and special evensong were planned.

(f) The Secretary stated that he now had only one Guild membership badge in stock. Letters to Messrs Awards and Trophies had been returned, marked "not known". The Master stated that he would try to locate the current location of this firm on his next visit to London. The Secretary would attempt to obtain quotations from other firms, provided copies of the original drawing were in existence. Mrs.G.W. Davis was confident that Mr.A.V.Davis, the designer, had copies of these.

The Master closed the meeting, with prayers, at 1720 hours.