1. 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 10.15 with a prayer, and welcomed the 21 other members present. The following members attended:- Kim Matthews, Gail Cater, Rita Carton, Gilian Davis, Faith Webster, and Wendy Ling; Barry Fry, Bob Cater, Michael Bubb, Roy LeMarechal, Ian McCallion, Andrew Case, Andrew Craddock, Derek Jackson, Tony Smith, John Colliss, David Whiting, Brian Oakes, Alan Hoar, David Savill, Tony Webster, Julian Atkins, Barry Downer, Francis Mitchell, and Phil Watts.

  2. Apologies for Absence

    Apologies were received from:-
    Barbara Townsend, Ruth Jackson, Mark Esbester, Keith Williamson, and Colin Belsey.

  3. Loss of Members through death

    The meeting stood in silence to remember past Master and Honorary Life Member Revd Canon Kenneth W H Felstead who died on Saturday 26 February 1994. The Secretary agreed to write to Mrs Felstead to express condolences on behalf of the Guild.

  4. Minutes of the last meeting (13 November 1993)

    Minutes of the last meeting had been circulated by the Minute Secretary in December. The minutes were approved by the meeting and signed.

  5. Matters Arising (not elsewhere on the Agenda)

    1. Guild garments and silver badges. The Secretary had received orders for 115 garments and would shortly be forwarding these to Welbeck. There had only been three requests for silver badges so these would not be ordered.

    2. Handbells' insurance. This had been changed to the scheme offered through Mayola Music. The bells are insured for £4500 with an excess of £25. When the bells are left unattended, they are only covered if kept in a locked room, building, or vehicle. The insurance covers the handbells anywhere in the UK, Channel Islands and other EU countries.

    3. Code of Practice (for the Conservation of Bells and Bellframes). The Secretary had obtained a copy of the Code and this was now retained by the Librarian.

    4. Guild Order of Service - report on progress. The Master reported that progress had been made with the Order of Service and it was hoped that a final draft would soon be available to the sub committee members. Tony Smith volunteered to help the Secretary with desk top publishing the final draft.

    5. CC Survey of 3 & 4 bell towers. The Secretary had received returns from all Districts except Winchester and Portsmouth.

    6. Guild Newsletter - budget review, Ian McCallion advised that he intended to produce two editions of the newsletter in 1994, and would get more words on each page by using a smaller typeface. In these circumstances he did not require additional funding. The Master expressed thanks to Ian for his efforts.

  6. Life Membership Proposals

    It was reported that A (Bert) Burbidge of Portsea (Portsmouth District) would complete 50 years membership of the Guild during 1994.

  7. Secretary's Communications

    1. Essex Shield Striking Competition 17 September 1994. The Secretary had received an invitation to this competition from the Surrey County Association and, in consultation with the Master, had asked Martin Hough to arrange a band.

    2. The Secretary of the Central Council had written regarding Church Insurance and Health and Safety legislation. It appeared that Andrew Wilby may have reached some agreement with Ecclesiastical Insurance regarding bells left up and further information was awaited. District Secretaries were asked to let the Secretary have information regarding any difficulties which had been encountered as to Health and Safety or insurance.

    3. The Secretary had received a letter from a Guild tower asking about the need to make regular inspections of the belfry for the purposes of meeting the church's insurer's requirements. The churchwardens of the parish had asked whether the bellfoundry should be asked to carry out routine inspections. The Secretary advised that in his opinion it would be sufficient for an experienced person to carry out routine inspections in accordance with the Central Council publication "Schedule of Regular Maintenance" and for a record to be kept of the nature and date of the inspection. It was felt that attendance on a Guild maintenance course would give someone the necessary experience to undertake these inspections. There was a discussion regarding the proposed belfry stewardship scheme and how it related to this matter, and it was felt that the Guild might be able to assist if towers were themselves unable to carry out inspections.

    4. The Secretary circulated at the meeting a copy of the Central Council Education Committee Newsletter of February 1994.

  8. Guild Report for 1993 - Production

    Derek Jackson read Ruth's report. Other quotations had been sought from Hampshire Printing Services, a printing firm in Salisbury, and Sotherans of Redcar. When all matters were taken into account, including carriage, none of the quotations were cheaper than John Longridge so his quote had been accepted by the Principal Officers. The cost was to be £820 for 1300 copies to include the Guild Rules and Ruth hoped to have the report available at the Guild Dinner.

    Julian Atkins advised the meeting that for the Isle of Wight District he was proposing to include information as to the tonal quality and condition of bells and fittings. There was a discussion as to whether it was appropriate to include subjective information of this nature especially as it had not been agreed with District Members. The meeting then had an opportunity to peruse the information and following a proposition from the Master it was agreed that the information should be included provided it indicated that it was Julian's personal opinion.

  9. Guild Library - Hampshire County Council Record Office, Winchester

    Kim Matthews advised that she had recently visited the Record Office and had left some written material pending a decision whether the Committee wished to proceed with the proposal to use the Record Office. Kim had an inventory of the material proposed to be deposited and sought authority to complete the Form of Agreement with the Record Office. The Master proposed that the specified material should be deposited with the Record Office and this was agreed nem con. Kim advised that the Record Office, situated close to Winchester railway station was open to the public from 9-7 Monday-Friday and from 9-4 on Saturdays. Some identification was required before documents could be perused.

    Kim was asked to check with Terry Collins whether he still had some material on loan from the Guild Library and if it could now be returned. She was asked to check if the Guildford Diocesan Guild had the minute books of the Winchester Diocesan Guild relating to the time of the Guildford Guild's formation.

  10. Guild Officers' Reports for 1993

    1. Secretary. The Secretary's Report had been circulated with the agenda papers and subject to an addition as to the amount of tax which the Guild can reclaim from the Inland Revenue for each £10 of covenanted giving (£3.33), the report was adopted on the Master's proposition.

    2. Peal Recorder. Roy read his report and it was adopted on the Master's proposition.

    3. Public Relations Officer, Ian's report had been circulated with the agenda papers. Derek Jackson asked whether the inventory ought to include a Central Council video on Bell Restoration Funds, but it was thought that this might be with Mark Esbester. The report was adopted on the Master's proposition.

    4. Librarian. Kim read her report which was agreed.

  11. Treasurer's Report and Accounts for 1993

    The report and accounts had been circulated with the agenda papers. The Treasurer made a few amendments to the report regarding the insurances and the report and accounts were then agreed and adopted nem con.

  12. BRF Trustees' Report and Accounts for 1993

    The Treasurer read the Trustees report, the accounts had been circulated with the agenda papers. There was a discussion regarding donations received from The Ringing World when someone from the Guild's area takes out a new subscription. Only one donation had been received in 1993 and it was felt that perhaps The Ringing World was uncertain as to which Guild a payment should be sent to. The Secretary agreed to raise the matter with the Editor of The Ringing World. The report and accounts were accepted by the meeting.

  13. Guild BRF Fund Raising - proposals

    A summary of a meeting held at Winchester on 15 January 1994 had been prepared by Julian Atkins, and had been circulated with the agenda papers. The Master further summarized the proposals coming forward from the group as being a request for the Executive Committee to offer support for the formation of a management committee for the BRF and also for an increase in Guild subscriptions so that a proportion of each subscription could be passed direct to the BRF.

    The Secretary had obtained the following information from neighbouring Societies:-

    Oxford have a subscription of £5 with no BRF levy
    Surrey have a subscription of £5 with no BRF levy
    Guildford have a subscription of £5 of which £2.50 is for the BRF (£28,000 in BRF)
    Sussex have a subscription of £2 with no BRF levy (£30,000 in BRF)
    Salisbury have a subscription of £4.40 of which £1.10 is for the BRF
    Bath & Wells have a subscription of £3.50 and part goes to the BRF (£1.75 in 1993)
    Gloucester & Bristol have a subscription of £7 of which £5 is for the BRF
    Kent have a subscription of £5 of which £3 goes to the BRF.

    Julian Atkins had drafted a possible change to the rules of the BRF in accordance with proposal 2 of his paper. The meeting felt that a change to the BRF rules was not required, especially since this would have to be approved by the Charity Commissioners, and agreed the Master's proposition that a management committee for the BRF should be approved by the Executive Committee. A majority of those present felt that the Committee should be a sub committee of the Executive Committee, so that there would not need to be a change of Rule, and the name agreed was the "Guild BRF Committee". It was duly set up.

    Julian Atkins agreed to prepare a paper to be with the Secretary by the end of April which would be circulated to towers explaining the concept of the Committee. Nominations for members of the sub committee would be sought at the AGM, and it was hoped these would cover all the Guild's area.

    There followed a discussion regarding the proposal to levy an additional subscription for the BRF. The Treasurer advised that he considered that all subscriptions should be increased by 50p at the AGM. After a lengthy discussion the meeting agreed by a majority with the Master's proposition that the Executive Committee should propose to the AGM an increase of 50p in all subscriptions and an additional levy of £1.50 for each member for the BRF. Tony Smith agreed to draft a change of Rule to deal with the allocation of this additional levy to the BRF. The present subscriptions had not been increased for 9 years.

  14. Belfry Stewardship

    A summary of a meeting held at Southampton on 29 January 1994 had been prepared by Phil Watts, and had been circulated with the agenda papers.

    There was general support for the recommendations of the working group except that it was felt that although it was important to survey towers and record details of bell installations, there should be no reference to producing or revising a book containing this information. A sub committee of the Executive Committee, to be called the Guild Belfry Stewardship Committee was duly set up, and again members would be sought at the AGM.

    Ian McCallion was strongly of the opinion that stewardship was inextricably linked with the previous item on the agenda, and that arising from the stewardship scheme he hoped that the Guild would obtain some estimate of the cost of getting all our bells in good condition.

    Phil Watts agreed to draft a paper for the AGM, to be with the Secretary by the end of April, and circulated to towers explaining the decisions made.

  15. Future Guild Events

    1. The 1994 AGM was to be held at Basingstoke on Saturday 2 July. The service would be at 3.30 at St Michael, Basingstoke, followed by the meeting at 4.15. Tea would follow the meeting.

    2. Event in the Channel Islands in 1995. The Channel islands ringers proposed to arrange a Channel Islands Festival based in Guernsey between 26 and 29 May 1995. No other dates were suggested by the meeting. It was agreed that there would be no formal Guild Dinner in 1995 because of this festival.

    3. Other events in 1994.

      Saturday 7 MayGuild Dinner at Ower
      Friday 13 May6 bell striking competition at St Michael, Southampton
      Saturday 14 May8 bell and inter district competition at Privett
      Saturday 21 MayGuild Education Day
      Saturday 10 September10 bell inter district competition at East Meon

      Gilian Davis circulated leaflets about the Christchurch 900th anniversary which would include a programme of ringing events on Saturday 16 April. Details were also in the February newsletter

  16. Date and Place of Next Meeting

    It was agreed that the next Executive Committee meeting be held on Saturday 19 November 1994 at 10.15 am at St Barnabas Church Hall, Southampton.

  17. Any Other Business

    1. Rita Carton had tickets available for the Guild Dinner

    2. Derek Jackson reminded members that the Basingstoke, Petersfield, Portsmouth, Christchurch, and Winchester Districts would be 100 years old on 13 July 1996

    3. Michael Bubb advised the meeting that a party of ringers from Vale, Guernsey would be visiting the mainland on 4 June to ring at Wonston (0900), Micheldever (1000), Barton Stacey (1115), Leckford (1400), Goodworth Clatford (1500), Abbotts Ann (1600), Nether Wallop (1700), and anyone was welcome to join them.

    There being no further business, the Master closed the meeting with prayers at 13.22.