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 10.17 with a prayer, and welcomed those present. He especially welcomed Helen Tucker, Secretary of the Channel Islands District, Stuart Heath, Secretary of the Portsmouth District, and Raymond Walsh, representing the Basingstoke District. The others attending were:- Gail Cater, Gilian Davis, Ruth Jackson, Elizabeth Johnson, Wendy Ling, Kim Matthews, June Mitchell, Barbara Townsend, Faith Webster, Andrew Craddock, Barry Downer, Mark Esbester, Alan Hoar, Derek Jackson, Ian McCallion, Francis Mitchell, Tony Smith, Brian Oakes, Phil Watts, David Whiting, and Keith Williamson.

  2. Apologies for Absence

    Apologies were received from:-
    Ceri Dodd and John Colliss.

  3. Loss of Members through death

    The meeting stood in silence to remember Dennis Oram and Tom de Paravechini of Abbotts Ann, Revd W F Godfrey formerly of the Christchurch and Southampton District, Bill Barnes of Hursley, David Savill a member of the Executive Committee and of St Michael Basingstoke, Philip Taylor of Highclere, Dorothy Chamberlain and Patrick Handley Garland of Fawley, Ted Green of Freshwater.

  4. Minutes of the last meeting (4 March 1995)

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

  5. Matters Arising (not elsewhere on the Agenda)

    1. Essex Shield Striking Competition. The Guild did not enter a band this year because of difficulties in arranging a complete team.

    2. Guild Library. Kim Matthews had established that the Guild minute books for 1927 -1928 were in the Guildford Diocesan Guild library housed in Guildford Cathedral. Kim was arranging to meet with David Agg, the Guildford librarian, to view the books and would advise the Secretary who would seek return of the books.

    3. Historic Peal Boards. Phil Watts advised that the Belfry Stewardship Committee had taken account of the Central Council's software, provided by Andrew Craddock, in designing their survey report form for the Guild survey of bells.

    4. Winchester District Open Day. Wendy Ling advised that this had not been very well attended but had raised £325 for the BRF. The Master expressed thanks to the organisers.

  6. Secretary's Communications

    1. The Secretary had invited the Dean of Guernsey, the Very Revd M Trickey, to become a Vice President of the Guild. The Dean had replied that he was delighted to accept.

    2. Bell Fittings from Froyle have been donated to the Guild and were housed in the boiler room of St Barnabas Church, Southampton, under the care of the Master. The Belfry Stewardship Committee had already found a home for four of the sets of fittings.

    3. Best kept tower competition. Patrick Matthews had proposed this scheme. It was agreed that the Belfry Stewardship Committee would consider and prepare a paper for the next meeting, Ian McCallion referred to the danger of cleaning belfries without protective clothing and Phil Watts agreed that to reduce the chances of contracting Psittacosis, face masks should always be worn when working in belfries.

    4. It was noted that the Central Council Education Committee were organising a Tower Captaincy course in February 1996 at Cirencester. Details had been circulated with the agenda papers.

    5. The Secretary had circulated a copy of a letter from the Central Council Bell Restoration Funds Committee with the agenda papers. The letter gave some information relating to average income, grant, and capital for bell restoration funds.

    6. The Secretary mentioned the recent publication in the Ringing World of a list of noise complaint advisors, Graham Grant being listed as the advisor for Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, and the Isle of Wight. Graham is standing in for Neil Skelton of the Salisbury Guild, and because of Graham Grant's recent knee replacement operation, Phil Watts is at present standing in for Graham and was due to attend a Central Council Seminar on Health & Safety and Sound Control in the near future.

  7. Life Membership Proposals

    It was reported that Betty J Daysh of Shedfield (Portsmouth District) would complete 50 years membership of the Guild during 1996.

  8. Sub-Committees' Reports and Accounts for 1995

    1. Striking Competitions Committee. The report and accounts had been circulated with the agenda, and Derek Jackson mentioned minor amendments which the committee wished to make to the report. Subject to these alterations, the report and accounts were accepted.

    2. Social Committee. The Committee's report and accounts had been circulated with the agenda. Subject to the deletion of the part of the report referring to future events, the report was accepted. The Treasurer agreed to put the accounts into the preferred format which he indicated was the format used by the Striking Competitions and BRF Fund Raising Committees.

    3. BRF Fund Raising Committee. The report and accounts circulated with the agenda were accepted.

    4. Interim Report from Belfry Stewardship Committee. The Committee's report, circulated with the agenda, was accepted, with the Master expressing thanks on behalf of the Guild to Phil Watts and his Committee for all their work. The BRF Trustees were particularly appreciative of the advice given to them by the Belfry Stewardship Committee. Phil Watts agreed that the Belfry Stewardship Committee would now produce the report on restoration work which is published in the Guild Report, and requested District Secretaries to let him know of any repair work carried out of which the Belfry Stewardship Committee might not be aware. Phil Watts requested the sum of £150 to cover the Committee's expenses. This was seconded by Mark Esbester and carried.

      The Committee's latest draft of the Guild Bell Stock Survey Report Form and guidance notes had been issued to Executive Committee members in advance of the meeting. Phil Watts advised that the Committee saw this work as a means of increasing awareness and stewardship of bells and of encouraging those with an interest. Tony Smith expressed his appreciation for the Committee's work regarding the survey, but wondered whether we would receive reliable information from Parishes where there was no-one interested in bells or ringing. Phil Watts said the Committee had already accepted that there would need to be a fair amount of checking of the information received and that the Committee were considering the best way of getting the forms to Parishes. It was suggested that ringers should be notified when forms are dispatched to their parish if they are not to be the recipients. The Committee were also hoping to meet the Archdeacons representing both diocese to secure their support for the survey and add authority to the requests for information, in response to questions posed by the Committee, the Executive felt that the survey should include churches of all faiths, not just Anglican and ideally it should also extend to cemetery chapels and private buildings with clock and other bells. There was a suggestion that the Committee might wish to consider running a pilot scheme in one Deanery and the Executive agreed to allocate £100 for further work by the Committee, possibly including a pilot scheme. As to whether the documents should be professionally printed, the Secretary felt the Committee needed to make a judgement between the cost of printing and the quality of documents required and report back, possibly following a pilot scheme.

      District Secretaries were asked to advise their members of this important work by the Belfry Stewardship Committee.

    At 11am, this being the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the Committee observed two minutes silence in memory of those who had given their lives in the service of their country.

  9. PRO's and Librarian's Budget Requests for 1996

    Kim Matthews proposed that the library funds be topped up by £20. This was seconded by Mark Esbester and agreed.

    Ian McCallion advised that each edition of the Newsletter cost about £90 to produce and that so far in 1995 he had produced two newsletters. It was agreed that the PRO's funds be topped up by £200 on a proposition from Mark Esbester, seconded by Tony Smith.

  10. Preparation of Guild Report for 1995

    Ruth Jackson was handed the forms for completion by District and Tower Secretaries which had been produced by John Dodd. It was agreed that the "Guild Representatives" on Diocesan Advisory Committees would be better described as "Bell Advisors". Ruth advised that it was helpful for reports to be submitted to her on computer disk, but that reports on paper were quite acceptable, but they were not retyped and therefore needed to be error free so far as possible. The Secretary proposed that Ruth be advanced £50 towards her costs. This was seconded by the Master and agreed.

  11. Showing of Guild Financial Assets in Guild Report.

    The Secretary had circulated, with the agenda, a paper on this matter. He felt that in line with promoting the concept of unity in the Guild and that the Districts are actually the Guild in the areas they cover, the 1995 Report should show all the financial assets of the Guild wherever they are held. The Secretary proposed that the total amounts carried forward for each district should be included in the Annual Report. This was seconded by Tony Smith. Wendy Ling proposed, as an amendment, that only the aggregated total carried forward for all the districts should be shown. On being put to the vote, the amendment was carried by 11 to 9, with two abstentions recorded. The amended motion was then carried nem con. The Secretary agreed to compile a list of non financial assets (excluding the library) for the next Executive Committee meeting. It was felt that this list should eventually extend to include all District assets.

  12. Revised Guild Order of Service

    The Master advised that he had been seeking authority from the Central Board of Finance to reproduce the ASB order for evening prayer. After some negotiations, the Master had secured authority without the need for the Guild to pay a fee and subject only to the printing of an acknowledgement. The Master hoped that the revised Order of Service would be ready for the next meeting.

  13. Central Council and Guild/Association Education Officers' Meeting

    Gail Cater's report of this conference, held in Leicester on 23 September, was dispatched with the agenda papers and was noted. Gail advised that a detailed report had recently appeared in the Ringing World.

  14. Certificate of Competence for Teaching Handling

    Barry Downer had prepared a paper on this item which had been circulated with the agenda. Gail Cater advised that the Education Committee had considered the matter and wondered who would train the trainers. They felt that refresher courses would have to be provided and they had doubts as to the value of the certificates which might be awarded. However, the Committee would consider the possibility of issuing certificates of attendance to people attending courses on teaching handling and would also raise the subject with the Central Council Education Committee.

  15. Districts' Centenary Celebrations

    Derek Jackson reminded the meeting that in 1996 the Guild would be celebrating the centenary of the formation of the first districts - we had been one of the first Guilds to create a district structure, Ian McCallion had prepared a paper giving details of some of the various events which were being planned by districts, and this information was noted.

  16. Guild Members' Details and the Internet

    Ian McCallion had prepared a paper on this topic which had been circulated with the agenda. The Guild already had some information on the World Wide Web and Ian sought support for the publication of further information. It was agreed that the WWW data was being held on behalf of the Guild and that a question be included on the proforma for the Annual Report enabling tower secretaries and district officers to object to their details being published if they did not wish them to be. The Executive agreed the principle of publishing the Guild information on the World Wide Web and Ian McCallion agreed to take responsibility for ensuring, so far as possible, that the information was kept up to date.

    Since the forms seeking information for inclusion in the 1995 Annual Report had already been printed, Ian McCallion would draft a letter to send to towers via District Secretaries and this would be forwarded by the Minute Secretary when dispatching the minutes of the meeting.

  17. Channel Islands District matters

    Helen Tucker had submitted a proposal and background information which had been included with the agenda. It was proposed by the Channel Islands District that they be recognised as a full district of the Guild and that Rule 5 be amended to include the Channel Islands District in the rotation of areas in which the Annual General Meeting is held. The Secretary spoke of the Channel Islands District now "coming of age" having become an active and flourishing area for ringing with over 80 members of the Guild, and proposed that the Channel Islands District's proposal be accepted in principle with the details of area rotation being left for a small group of Executive Committee members to consider and make recommendations. This was seconded by Gilian Davis and carried. The group of members who would consider the details was agreed as the Secretary, the Master, Helen Tucker, and Tony Smith. The Secretary asked that any comments others may have on the detailed arrangements should please be forwarded to him.

  18. Future Guild Events

    1. Dates for 1996 mentioned at the meeting were as follows:-

      2 MarchExecutive Committee meetingSt Barnabas, Southampton
      13 AprilEducation Cttee course - Rounds, call changes, basic doubles
      20 AprilGuild DinnerMarwell Park Hotel
      6 MayChristchurch (& Southampton) District Open DaySouthampton - Christchurch
      17 May6 Bell Striking CompetitionVenue to be agreed
      18 May pmInter District Striking CompetitionEling
      18 May evening8 Bell Striking Competition - Erin or Stedman TriplesEling
      1 JuneEducation Cttee course - Plain Hunt, touches of doubles, courses of PB Minor
      6 JulyGuild AGM and evening barbecueEast Meon
      21 SeptemberEducation Cttee course - Belfry Maintenance + Raising & Lowering
      28 September10 Bell Striking Competition - Grandsire CatersNewport
      12 OctoberChannel Islands District ADM
      26 OctoberEducation Cttee course - Teaching handling + Treble to plain methods, touches of Bob Minor
      2 NovemberExecutive Committee meetingSt Barnabas, Southampton

  19. Date and Place of Next Meetings.

    It had previously been agreed that the next Executive Committee meeting would be held on Saturday 2 March 1996 and it was agreed that the meeting be held at 10.15 at St Barnabas Church Hall. It was also agreed that the following meeting would be held on Saturday 2 November 1996 at St Barnabas Church Hall, Southampton.

  20. Any Other Business

    1. Wendy Ling asked whether the Executive Committee felt that the way the Social Committee was presently formed was the best way. The Secretary said this was a matter for the Social Committee to consider themselves in the first instance with a view to putting proposals for change to the next meeting. Any advice from members should be passed to them.

    There being no further business, the Master closed the meeting with prayers at 13.08.