WINCHESTER AND PORTSMOUTH DIOCESAN GUILD OF CHURCH BELL RINGERS
MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD 14 NOVEMBER 1992 AT ST BARNABAS CHURCH HALL, LODGE ROAD, SOUTHAMPTON
Opening Prayer and Master's Welcome
The Master, Rev Barry Fry, supported by the Honorary General Secretary, Bob Cater, the Honorary General Treasurer, Michael Bubb, and the Minute Secretary, Andrew Case, opened the meeting at 10.01 with a prayer, and welcomed the 20 other members present. The following members attended:- Kim Matthews, Ruth Jackson, Gail Cater, Gilian Davis, Faith Webster, and Elizabeth Johnson; Barry Fry, Bob Cater, Michael Bubb, Ian McCallion, Andrew Case, Andrew Craddock, Derek Jackson, Tony Smith, Mark Esbester, John Colliss, David Hughes, Brian Oakes, Tony Webster, Peter Hill, Steve Noyes, Francis Mitchell, David Forder, and Robin Milford.
Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from:-
Roy LeMarechal, Hugh Routh, Colin Belsey (Channel Islands District Secretary), Helen Barsby (Basingstoke District Secretary), Barbara Townsend (Andover District Secretary), Martin Waldron and David Weir.
Loss of Members through death
The meeting stood in silence to remember former Guild member Gerald Ellison, former Bishop of London and one time chaplain to the Bishop of Winchester.
Minutes of the last meeting (14 March 1992)
Minutes of the last meeting had been circulated by the Minute Secretary in April. The minutes were approved by the meeting and signed.
Recruitment video. Patrick Matthews had advised the Secretary that the video was not quite ready and required some further editing etc. Kim Matthews had a copy available which it was suggested might usefully be viewed by the Education Committee.
Fordingbridge. It had not been possible to arrange the meeting mentioned at minute 7h/3/92, but the Master and Secretary had arranged to meet with a representative of Fordingbridge and of the Salisbury Guild on 23 November and would report back to the next meeting.
Ken Croft's Map and illuminated address had now been hung in the ringing chamber at St Mary, Southampton.
The Secretary reported that he had not received any significant correspondence beyond the customary letters of thanks for grants and cards, but he had been making contact with various people including: George Elphick of Lewes, the bell advisor to the Portsmouth Diocesan Advisory Committee; Revd Graeme Knowles, the Secretary of the Portsmouth DAC; Ben Woods, the Secretary of the Winchester DAC. The Secretary was also hoping to make contact with Kevin Stubbs of the Hampshire County Council Planning Department and Winchester DAC who is a "preservationist" and was involved in the recent projects at Mottisfont and Sparsholt.
The Secretary had also made contact with the Guild's insurance brokers, Blake Marston Priest Ltd, in order to clarify the Guild's public liability insurance policy. It had now been established that this policy covers Guild members against claims by third parties or other Guild members for accidental damage or injury. The brokers had now confirmed that they did not need to be notified of members names when restoration works were to be carried out, but the cover would only be in respect of two major restoration projects (involving removal of bells from the tower) in each year. It was felt that some guidance to members in the form of a code of practice for bell restoration might be helpful.
Derek Jackson referred to the stock of receipt books held by the Secretary. He was concerned that none had been issued recently to Districts, but receipts were the only proof that members had of having paid their subscriptions. The Treasurer reminded the meeting that District Auditors sign a certificate each year to confirm that they have "checked vouchers" and that if receipts were not being issued by Districts, then auditors should be asking detailed questions.
Report of the Striking Competitions Committee
John Colliss presented the report and advised that John Davis from New Alresford had joined the Committee. The Master proposed adoption of the report and this was carried nem con.
Report of the Social Committee
Robin Milford read the report on the Guild Dinner held in 1992. Adoption of the report was proposed by the Master and carried nem con. The Secretary mentioned that a suggestion had been made that the Guild might consider arranging a dinner every other year rather than annually. The Secretary reminded the meeting of the Object of the Guild contained in the Rules which was to unite ringers in the two Diocese for mutual support. The Secretary felt that more unifying events would be helpful and said that the Social Committee would no doubt bear in mind that all the activities which it organized helped to unify the Districts into the Guild.
Report of the Education Committee
Gail Cater read the report of the Committee mentioning that Phil Watts from North Stoneham and Jacqueline Davis from Old Alresford had been co-opted to the committee, Brian Woodruffe having resigned. The Master proposed the adoption of the report and this was carried nem con.
There was some discussion of the funds held by the committee (currently in the hands of Brian Woodruffe), Peter Hill suggesting that the Committee could merely request finance from the Treasurer rather than having its own funds. The Secretary felt that a future revision of the Guild Rules should clarify the position of the sub committees and their accounts generally, and that the rules should continue to allow the Guild to set up such committees as it considers necessary from time to time.
The Committee had given consideration to the purchase by the Guild of a ringing simulator. Gail described the types of simulator available:- the Cummings simulator costing around £250 - £300, the Bagley simulator costing £750 - £800, and the BBC microcomputer conversion kit costing £75 plus the cost of a BBC micro. The Committee felt that the Bagley "top of the range" simulator (currently known as the "Ringleader" but being continually upgraded) was the most compact, robust and portable simulator offering all that the Guild would require and accordingly they wished to recommend the Guild to purchase one of these. There was a lengthy discussion during which Gail Cater agreed to provide a briefing note for Districts so that the matter could be discussed at Annual District meetings. It was suggested that the recommended simulator might be made available for members to view/try out as part of the arrangements for the AGM. The Master then proposed that the Education Committee should consider the matter further and present detailed recommendations to the Executive Committee in March with a view to recommending the AGM to purchase a simulator with funds from the Guild's reserve account.
Guild Report for 1992
Ruth Jackson advised that John Dodd would not be able to undertake printing of the Report for 1992, although he would be preparing camera ready copy and hoped to be able to print the 1993 Report. A quotation of £802.24 had been obtained from John Longridge for printing a 56 page report from camera ready copy and it was agreed on a proposition from the Master that it would be left for the Principal Officers to consider this quote together with any others which might be obtained.
Peter Hill mentioned that the Isle of Wight District produce a very useful guide to ringing on the Island. Kim Matthews advised that Bournemouth produce a similar guide. Steve Noyes agreed to provide a copy of the IOW Guide to all District Secretaries so that they might consider whether to produce a version for their own district.
Derek Jackson proposed that the Secretary should write to John Dodd to thank him for his efforts in connection with the report. This was seconded by John Colliss and carried. The Master also thanked Ruth Jackson, Ian McCallion and Roy LeMarechal for their help with the Report.
Ian McCallion advised that he hoped to produce three editions per annum which would cost in the region of £180. Ian had attended a Central Council course for Public Relations Officers and as a result hoped to be able to produce press releases in advance of some Guild events such as the striking competitions. The Treasurer mentioned that there was authority for expenditure of £75 as agreed at minute 11/3/92.
The Secretary mentioned that he had been encouraging Districts who produced their own newsletter to pass copies to the other districts as a way of encouraging greater unity.
The Secretary advised that he had a stock of Guild greetings cards. If any District Secretary wished these to be sent to members on special occasions signed by the Master and General Secretary, or wished to have a stock for their own use, then they should contact him in advance to arrange for cards to be sent.
Expenses incurred by Officers
Mark Esbester advised that he and Tony Smith had come to the conclusion that this was a matter which could be left to the Executive Committee and did not warrant a change of Rule. The Master agreed that there would be unlikely to be any problem provided expenses are correctly recorded in the accounts.
Keeping the AGM short
The Master mentioned the timings of items at the 1991 and 1992 AGMs. It seemed that a great deal of time at the 1992 meeting had been taken up with Central Council business. Steve Noyes suggested that CC items which were for information only might be put in the newsletter or circulated in written form at the meeting thereby avoiding prolonged discussion. Tony Smith pointed out that in the same way that the Guild is the Districts and the Members, the Central Council is the Guilds and Associations which are represented. Whilst it was important to manage the content of the AGM, the right vehicle should be chosen for the message.
It was felt that since the Central Council business to be discussed at the 1993 meeting should be a lot less, the problem should not arise. Thought should be given as to whether any information items might be better in the newsletter.
Any Other Business
Kim Matthews queried whether it was in order for non Guild members to borrow books from the library. As the library insurance only covers Guild members, the meeting agreed that although there was no objection to non members looking at books in the library, they should not be permitted to take books on loan from the library.
Kim Matthews asked whether there were any plans to obtain more Guild sweatshirts. There were no immediate plans to do this, but the Secretary advised that he was obtaining T shirts for the Sparsholt Course and would make enquiries regarding other garments.
The Secretary passed a collection of old Guild minute books to the Librarian, some of which needed some repair.
The Master advised that the sixth bell at Nether Wallop was to be dedicated during a service at 6pm on 6 December.
Ian McCallion had been contacted by the Bournemouth Tourist Office regarding the AGM arrangements. Kim Matthews explained that the Tourist Office were assisting with the arrangements and were trying to locate portable rings of bells for the weekend.
Steve Noyes asked whether there had been any progress with the proposed revision of the Guild Order of Service. The Master was still considering this, but he agreed that it would be helpful to have an Order with different choices of words within it. The Master agreed that a revised Order of Service ought to be in operation by the end of the current triennial period, ie before the 1995 AGM.
Mark Esbester advised that the 200 Club was continuing to do well. He hoped that it would contribute something like £478 to the BRF in 1992.
Date of Next Meeting
It was agreed that the next meeting would be held on 10 am on Saturday 13 March 1993 at St Barnabas Church Hall, Southampton, to be preceded by a meeting of the Trustees of the BRF.
There being no further business, the Master closed the meeting with prayers at 12.42 pm.