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 10.20 with a prayer, and welcomed those present, especially Linda Bulpitt, Catherine Wood, Joy Martin and Joan Parry. All members present then introduced themselves.

    The others attending were:- Gail Cater, Gilian Davis, Ruth Jackson, Elizabeth Johnson, Wendy Ling, Kim Matthews, June Mitchell, Barbara Townsend, Helen Tucker, Faith Webster, John Colliss, Barry Downer, Mark Esbester, Stuart Heath, Alan Hoar, Derek Jackson, Ian McCallion, Francis Mitchell, Tony Smith, Brian Oakes, Phil Watts, Raymond Walsh, Tony Webster, and David Whiting.

  2. Apologies for Absence

    Apologies were received from:-
    Angela Athawes, Ceri Dodd, Andrew Craddock, and John Davey.

  3. Loss of Members through death

    The meeting stood in silence to remember Alan Betsworth (Honorary Life Member) of Liss, Jack Mussell (Honorary Life Member) of Breamore, Dorothy Brunnen of Bitterne Park, Jack Hull (Honorary Life Member) of Brockenhurst, Eric Packham of Whitwell, Ron Pipe of Church Oakley, John Froome of Baughurst.

  4. Minutes of the last meeting (11 November 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. Guild minute books for 1927 - 1928. Kim Matthews reported that there had been a misunderstanding and that the books at Guildford Cathedral were in fact the Guildford Guild's own minute books. This Guild's own books were therefore still missing. The Treasurer suggested that a notice might be placed in the Ringing World asking if anyone knew the whereabouts of the books. The Secretary agreed that when he writes to all towers regarding the AGM, he will include a note about any volumes missing from the library which are notified to him by Kim. It was agreed that the librarian should purchase the missing volumes of the Ringing World (1969) and Bell News if these became available. The Secretary drew attention to the changing role of the librarian and agreed to produce a paper on the subject for the next meeting.

    2. Best Kept Tower Competition. Phil Watts reported that the Belfry Stewardship Committee had considered this suggestion and felt that there was merit in it. However, the committee felt that it would be difficult to organise unless Districts arranged the first stage of any competition, possibly with advice from members of the BSC, and for the Committee to be involved in selecting from the best District Towers. The matter was therefore left for District Secretaries to put to their Districts for further comments.

    3. Central Council Complaints Advisers. Phil Watts advised that this was a role he shared with Graham Grant for Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, the Isle of Wight, and the Channel Islands.

    4. Bell Stock Survey. Phil Watts said that there was no direct progress to report, but the BSC were thinking of running a pilot scheme in a Deanery of the Portsmouth Diocese, possibly in the Alton & Petersfield District.

    5. Certificate of Attendance for Teaching Handling Courses. Gail Cater reported that the Education Committee are happy to produce certificates of attendance for various courses.

    6. Members Details on the Internet, Ian McCallion reported that he had received several completed forms from correspondents who did not wish their details to be placed on the Internet. He assured the meeting that the information to be given on the World Wide Web would consist of surnames and initials only. First names would not be published and no indication would be given of the sex of the correspondent, Ian advised that the Guild's home page now included the sound of the bells of Romsey and Winchester Cathedral together with pictures of several Guild towers. There was also information on Guild events including the forthcoming Christchurch and Southampton District open day.

    7. Revised Guild Service Booklet. The Master expressed thanks to Tony Smith for his help in producing the latest draft of the booklet. Further comments had now been received from members of the steering group and once the final form of the booklet had been agreed the Secretary would seek quotations for printing. Bob Cater had already obtained an indication from Sotherans that 1000 copies of a booklet with card covers would cost in the region of £500 - £600. The Secretary agreed that the booklet should be put together with non rusting staples.

    8. Inventory of Guild Property. The Secretary had prepared a provisional list which was circulated at the meeting. He agreed to check the position as to insurance of the items kept at Winchester Cathedral and also to include the Striking Competition cup and shield in the inventory. District Secretaries were asked to prepare inventories of Guild property held by them for possible inclusion in the inventory.

  6. Secretary's Communications

    The Secretary had received an invitation for the Guild to enter the Essex Trophy striking competition to be held at Booking on 21 September 1996. It was felt that the Guild should be represented at this event and it was left for the Secretary to ask someone to organise a band.

  7. Life Membership Proposals

    Derek Jackson advised the meeting that Graham Grant would shortly be retiring as tower captain of Winchester Cathedral. Derek proposed that in recognition of all Graham's service to the Guild he should be recommended to the Guild for election to Honorary Life Membership. This was seconded by Barbara Townsend and carried unanimously.

    Ruth Jackson mentioned that Reg Read of Hursley had been elected to the Guild in 1932 and had been Treasurer and Peal Recorder of the Guild, although his period of membership of the Guild had not been continuous. Ruth proposed that Reg Read be recommended for Life membership of the Guild. Although a vote was taken, the Master proposed that this matter should be deferred until the next meeting and that in respect of this proposal, and any future proposal of this type, the proposer should prepare a brief paper setting out the nature of the service their nominee had given to the Guild and submit this to the Secretary for an Executive Committee meeting. This was agreed.

    Catherine Wood suggested that in view of the limited number of people who are likely to qualify for election to Honorary Life Membership by completing 50 years membership, there may be support for a change to Rule 6b. The Secretary reminded the meeting that any rule change needed to be made to him at least two months before a General Meeting, but it might be preferable for anyone contemplating a rule change to prepare a paper for consideration by the Executive Committee before making a formal proposal to a General Meeting. Catherine agreed to consider producing a paper on the subject for the next meeting.

  8. BRF Trustees Report and Accounts

    These had been circulated with the agenda papers. The Treasurer thanked the Froyle ringers for their magnificent donation to the BRF and mentioned minor amendments to the report which had been suggested by the BRF Trustees.

    There followed a discussion of the work of the BRF Fund Raising Committee and a proof of a tea towel showing the Guild Map which had been designed by Graham Grant was circulated for comments. June Mitchell also had BRF pens available for sale and would be using the monies from the sale of these pens (which had been most generously donated to the BRF by Roderick Boucher) to fund future purchases. It was proposed by the Secretary and seconded by Helen Tucker that the Committee should receive £500 to fund production of the tea towels and this was carried nem con.

    The Master, whilst thanking the Committee for their hard work so far, stressed the need to grasp a wider vision for the future. A discussion followed which included reference to the work of the Belfry Stewardship Committee in identifying work which is required and thereby establishing an annual target for fund raising. Others felt that whilst non-ringers were pleased to give money to local ringing projects, it was more difficult to get them to contribute to the Guild BRF for projects of which they were not aware.

    The Secretary proposed that the Master, the Convenor of the Belfry Stewardship Committee, the BRF Fund-raising Committee, arid other interested parties should meet to discuss the matter further and report back to the next meeting. June Mitchell agreed to arrange such a meeting.

    Mark Esbester referred to the need to stress to members the importance of individual tower donations and June Mitchell reminded the meeting of the Tower Challenge and hoped towers would continue to take up the challenge every year.

  9. Channel Islands District Matters

    On behalf of the sub-committee considering this matter (minute 17/11/95), Tony Smith had prepared a paper which was circulated with the agenda. The following amendment to the Guild Rules was proposed by the Master and carried nem con:

    That the Executive Committee propose the following change to Rule 5 at the 1996 AGM at East Meon

    For "A General Meeting of the Guild shall be held annually in one of the following areas in turn: Area 1 Andover, Area 2 Portsmouth, Area 3 Winchester, Area 4 Christchurch, Area 5 Basingstoke, Area 6 Isle of Wight, Area 7 Alton and Petersfield, Area 8 Southampton"

    Substitute "A General Meeting of the Guild shall be held annually in each of the Districts in turn: District 1 Andover, District 2 Portsmouth, District 3 Winchester, District 4 Christchurch and Southampton, District 5 Basingstoke, District 6 Isle of Wight, District 7 Alton and Petersfield, District 8 Channel Islands"

    and that the new rota come into effect following completion of the current cycle with the AGM in the Southampton area in 1997.

  10. Social Committee

    Joy Martin spoke to a paper which she had prepared on behalf of the Social Committee and which had been circulated with the agenda. Joy advised that none of the Districts which had been contacted wanted the Social Committee to be disbanded. There was general agreement that there was a continuing need to have a Social Committee.

    The Master left the meeting at this point and invited Gilian Davis (Immediate Past Master) to take the chair for the remainder of the meeting.

    Gilian proposed that a special meeting of the Social Committee should be arranged and for the Master to be invited in order to consider all the comments which had been made and to make recommendations to the November Executive Committee meeting. Joy Martin agreed to arrange the meeting and prepare the paper setting out recommendations.

  11. Sub-Committees' Reports and Accounts for 1995

    1. Secretary. The Secretary's report had been circulated with the agenda and, subject to minor additions, was accepted

    2. Treasurer and Guild Accounts. The Treasurer's report and accounts had been circulated before the meeting. Minor amendments were discussed and the report and accounts were agreed. The Secretary suggested that the accounts should show the contribution from the Winchester Diocesan Board of Finance towards the expenses of the Secretary and Master going to the Channel Islands and it was agreed that this should be shown. The Chairman expressed the meeting's thanks to Michael Bubb for his considerable work on behalf of the Guild.

    3. Education Committee. The Report and accounts had been circulated with the agenda and were agreed.

    4. Librarian. The report and accounts had been circulated with the agenda and were agreed.

    5. Public Relations Officer. The Report, inventory and accounts had been circulated with the agenda and were agreed. There was some discussion as to whether it would be useful for the PRO to have a model bell for loan, but several members mentioned towers where these might be found. It was agreed that District Secretaries be asked to advise the PRO of the whereabouts of model bells within their districts which could be borrowed so that the PRO could draw these to the attention of members.

    6. Peal Recorder. This report had also been circulated with the agenda and was agreed.

    7. Belfry Stewardship Committee. On behalf of the Committee, Phil Watts had prepared the report and accounts and also a Review of Belfry Restoration Schemes. With a minor change these reports and accounts were agreed and the Chairman expressed thanks to Phil Watts and the Committee for their work.

  12. Preparation of Guild Report for 1995

    Ruth Jackson had obtained quotations from Basingstoke Press and also Papyrus for producing the report from camera ready copy produced by John Dodd. The Papyrus quote was some £400 less and had therefore been accepted by the Officers. A discussion followed regarding the weights of tenors in Guild towers as there were some discrepancies between weights given in Dove, TowerBase, and the Guild Report. It was agreed that the weights given in the Report should be used until these could be checked by individual towers perhaps in time for the 1996 Report.

  13. Future Guild Events

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

      20 AprilGuild DinnerMarwell Safari Lodge Hotel
      6 MayChristchurch & Southampton District Open DaySouthampton - Christchurch
      Day Ticket £8 or 50p a tower
      6 JulyGuild AGM. Morning ringing, Service 14.30,
      Meeting 16.30, Open ringing 18.30-19.30,
      Barbecue at Village Hall.
      East Meon

  14. Date and Place of Next Meetings.

    It had previously been agreed that the next Executive Committee meeting would be held on Saturday 2 November, but because that day was also the date of the ASCY Dinner, Tony Smith proposed that the next meeting should be re-arranged. Following a discussion as to suitable dates, it was agreed that the next meeting be held on Saturday 7 December 1996 at St Barnabas Church Hall, Southampton. The Chairman proposed that the following meeting be held on Saturday 8 March 1997 at the same venue, and this was agreed.

  15. Any Other Business

    1. Mark Esbester encouraged members to join the 200 Club if they had not already done so.

    There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting with a prayer at 13.00.