WINCHESTER AND PORTSMOUTH DIOCESAN GUILD OF CHURCH BELL RINGERS
MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD 13 MARCH 1993 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, Robert Cater, the Honorary General Treasurer, Michael Bubb, and the Minute Secretary, Andrew Case, opened the meeting at 10.02 with a prayer, and welcomed the 24 other members present (The Isle of Wight representatives arrived slightly later). The following members attended:- Kim Matthews, Ruth Jackson, Gail Cater, Gilian Davis, Faith Webster, Margaret Aylieff, Barbara Townsend, and Wendy Ling; Barry Fry, Bob Cater, Michael Bubb, Roy LeMarechal, Ian McCallion, Andrew Case, Andrew Craddock, Derek Jackson, Tony Smith, Mark Esbester, John Colliss, Brian Oakes, Tony Webster, Simon Smith (for Peter Hill), Francis Mitchell, Keith Williamson, David Whiting, Alan Hoar, David Savill, Phil Watts, Julian Atkins, and Barry Downer.
Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from:-
Colin Belsey, Jacqui Dunster, and Martin Waldron.
Loss of Members through death
The meeting stood in silence to remember Fred Taylor of Sopley and, later in the meeting, Peter Stevens of Freshwater.
Minutes of the last meeting (14 November 1992)
Minutes of the last meeting had been circulated by the Minute Secretary in December. The minutes were approved by the meeting and signed.
Accounts of Guild Education Committee. The Accounts for 1990, 91 and 92 had been circulated before the meeting and were accepted with thanks to Gail Cater. Tony Smith suggested that the accounts should state that they had been audited and by whom.
Proposed purchase of ringing simulator. The Secretary had circulated a paper on the Education Committee's proposal prior to the meeting. There was a lengthy discussion during which it emerged that some Jersey ringers and the Isle of Wight District Officers were not supportive of the purchase of a simulator by the Guild. It was suggested that the paper could be enlarged as to the administration of the simulator, if purchased, and how it might be transported around the Guild's area. It was felt that the paper might be more helpful if it stressed the advantages of the recommended simulator and gave fewer details of the other available types.
It was agreed that the criticisms raised, mainly as to the administration of the simulator if purchased, should receive a specific response from the Secretary before the AGM. Purchase of the simulator would not require subscriptions to be raised.
It was proposed by Gilian Davis that the Education Committee's proposal should be put to the AGM with the Executive Committee's support and with a recommendation that the administration of the system be reviewed after one year's operation. This was seconded by the Master and carried by a majority.
Letter to John Dodd. The Secretary advised that he had written to thank John Dodd for his work in connection with the Report.
Guild garments. The Secretary had not yet made enquiries regarding this matter.
District Newsletters. The Secretary expresses thanks to those Districts who had forwarded copies of their newsletters to other district and to the Guild PRO.
Guild Service booklet. The Master agreed to set up a meeting of interested parties to progress this matter with a view to producing a revised booklet during the current triennium.
Fordingbridge. The Master and Secretary had held an amicable meeting with representatives of Fordingbridge and the Salisbury Diocesan Guild. It was agreed that the matter need not be taken further, and that the Secretary would write to the Salisbury Guild to advise that this Guild would not wish to stand in the way of Fordingbridge being "in union" with both Guilds.
Life Membership Proposal.
The ringers of St Mark, Jersey wished to suggest that the Revd William N Hall should be elected to Honorary Life Membership of the Guild in recognition of his services to ringing. The Master proposed that the Executive Committee should recommend this election and this was agreed nem con.
The Master then proposed that Derek Jackson be recommended for Honorary Life Membership of the Guild in recognition of his service to the Guild over many years. This was unanimously agreed.
It was reported that John Hunt had been elected to the Portsmouth District in April 1943 and would therefore be eligible for Life Membership at the AGM.
The Secretary had circulated with the agenda a letter from Steve Gregory suggesting that the Executive Committee consider a change in the Guild Rules so that a member of the Guild having completed 50 years ringing anywhere would become eligible for election to Life Membership of the Guild. It was pointed out that anyone can be proposed for Life membership in recognition of their services to the Guild and it was agreed that there was no need for a change in the rules.
The Secretary had also circulated a letter from John Dodd recommending the Committee to consider rescheduling Annual District Meetings by holding two ADMs on the same day - possibly with adjacent districts having one meeting in the morning and one in the afternoon. This would then enable the Guild Report to be published earlier in the year.
A discussion followed including the following matters: would it be appropriate for the Guild to instruct Districts when to hold meetings; the Newsletter exists to give up to date information, the report being partly an historical document, but also with current information on towers etc. The Master then took a vote as to whether there was a need for change, but there were no votes in favour of a change.
The Secretary advised that he had forwarded all comments received from Districts and individuals, concerning the Council for the Care of Churches draft Code of Practice for the Conservation of Bells and Bellframes, to Rev Dr John Baldwin.
The Secretary had circulated a letter received from Chris Pickford relating to the recording of information on historic bellframes. It was considered that this was an important matter. As a Guild it might be useful to have information on historic frames so that we will be in a better position to assist the Diocesan Advisory Committees and others considering works affecting such frames. It was agreed that Districts should be asked to make members aware of the project with a possible view to set up a database of old frames in towers in the Guild.
The Secretary had circulated a copy of the Central Council Education Committee's Spring newsletter.
The Secretary had circulated a letter from J Mulvey of the Central Council Bell Restoration Funds Committee seeking information on 3 & 4 bell towers. The Secretary agreed to break down the list into districts and ask District Secretaries to assist with information on the towers within their district.
Guild Report for 1992
Ruth Jackson advised that it was hoped to have the Report to the printer early in April. The Principal Officers of the Guild had accepted a quotation of £803 from John Longridge for the printing.
Purchase of Membership Certificates and Badges
The Secretary advised that he had arranged for 1000 certificates to be printed and these would cost 20p each. Following a discussion as to the design of the badge, including mention of the fact that the old badge was based on the design of the Lancashire Association badge, the Master proposed that 500 copies of the existing badge should be ordered, to be sold at £2 each. This was agreed and the Secretary agreed to enquire as to the cost of obtaining silver badges.
Peal Board for Guild Centenary Peal
The Master suggested that as Winchester Cathedral were proposing to erect a peal board to mark the first peal on 14, it might be appropriate to erect a board for the Centenary peal rung at the Cathedral in 1979. The Cathedral band supported this. Some members of the band had unfortunately died since the peal was rung, but the Master proposed that the surviving ringers be contacted to seek donations towards the cost of the board with the Guild contributing up to £100. On being put to a vote, the proposition was carried.
The Secretary reported that the Library was now getting full and Kim Matthews was acting as much as an archivist as a librarian. It appeared that Christchurch Priory were no longer planning to use the Muniments room for their own records and that the damp conditions in the room were not ideal for the Guild Library. Kim Matthews advised that she had been in touch with the Hampshire Records Office in Winchester who seemed quite interested in helping with repairs to some of the books and with storage of the archival written material. Kim Matthews agreed to investigate this further and also to seek advice regarding some form of environmental control system for the library cabinet. The secretary would place an item on the agenda of the next meeting for further discussion.
Guild Officers' Reports
The reports of the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Peal Recorder, the Public Relations Officer, and the Librarian were all accepted. Roy LeMarechal advised that one Isle of Wight ringer did not appear to have paid a subscription for 1992 and hence some peals might have to be disallowed. There was some discussion on this matter, but it was felt that this was a matter which hopefully could be quickly resolved between the Isle of Wight District Officers and the ringer concerned.
Guild Subscriptions for 1994
The Treasurer had produced a budget for the Guild and an analysis of all the District Accounts. The analysis showed that four of the districts had a deficit for 1992 and had to use some of their balances, but the other four districts were in credit for 1992. Together the Districts had nearly £5000 in balances. It was agreed that there was no need for an increase in subscriptions for 1994.
Report and Accounts of the Trustees of the Bell Restoration Fund
The report and accounts had been circulated with the agenda papers and were accepted by the meeting. Derek Jackson thanked the Trustees for making good investment decisions.
Mark Esbester then introduced a discussion of fund raising ideas including the following: The 200 Club - there was plenty of room for more members, the take up being a bit disappointing; Tower donations had fallen slightly in 1992 - towers might consider donating the equivalent of the fee for one wedding to the BRF each year; Covenants were encouraged by the Trustees as the amount of the donation is increased by one third for taxpayers through reclaimed income tax; District Open Days - it was suggested that a joint Alton & Petersfield/Portsmouth District open day might be organized for 1993; Guild garments were being investigated by the Secretary; Beer Glasses and Ties might be worth selling again and District Secretaries were asked to enquire whether members were interested; Guild Christmas cards might be a possibility; Individual open days for the general public were considered to be a useful source of funds.
Future Guild Events
The Guild Dinner - arranged for 24 April at Marwell Zoo, near Winchester.
The Ringing School - arranged for 8 May. The handling group was already full.
The 8 bell striking competitions - arranged for 15 May at New Alresford.
The 6 bell competition - arranged for 19 June at Brading
The AGM - arranged for 3 July. Kim Matthews outlined some of the arrangements as follows:- On Friday evening there would be a skittles evening at Canford Heath. There would be two ringing routes into Bournemouth on Saturday. There was to be a buffet salad lunch available at Sacred Heart with the AGM scheduled for 2pm in the Church Hall. The Service would be at St Peter Bournemouth at 4.15 with tea in the Methodist Church Hall at 5.15. There would be evening ringing at Christchurch and Ringwood. There would be normal Service ringing on Sunday morning and visitors would be welcome at Brownsea in the afternoon. Accommodation would be available in Bournemouth. A mini bus was being provided to meet the Isle of Wight Ferry at Lymington.
Social Committee Activities
Margaret Aylieff advised the meeting that the new Social Committee would be taking over in May. The Master thanked Margaret for everything she had done for the Guild during her time on the Social Committee. The Secretary suggested that the committee might like to consider arranging a lunch with the AGM when this is held on the Isle of Wight in 1995. The Secretary also mentioned that the new visitor centre at Winchester Cathedral would incorporate a restaurant and might be a suitable venue for dinners.
Any Other Business
Kim Matthews asked for funds for the library. The Master proposed that £50 should be allocated and this was agreed.
The Secretary advised that he had some details available for District Secretaries as to the Sparsholt Ringing Course.
Barry Downer asked whether there was a minimum or maximum age limit in respect of the Guild's public liability insurance. The Secretary advised that there were no age limits.
Date and Place of Next Meeting
It was agreed that the next meeting would be held on 10.15 am on Saturday 13 November 1993 at St Barnabas Church Hall, Southampton.
There being no further business, the Master closed the meeting with prayers at 1.10 pm.