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 10.35 with a prayer, and welcomed those present. He especially welcomed Roger Knight, attending in place of the Andover District Secretary; John Davey, Executive Committee Representative for the Christchurch and Southampton District; and Ceri Dodd, the Honorary Peal Recorder, attending her first Executive Committee meeting.

    The others attending were:- Linda Bulpitt, Gail Cater, Gilian Davis, Ruth Jackson, Elizabeth Johnson, Wendy Ling, Kim Matthews, June Mitchell, Joan Parry, Faith Webster; Catherine Wood, Barry Downer, Mark Esbester, Alan Hoar, Ian McCallion, John Colliss, Stuart Heath, Francis Mitchell, Tony Smith, Brian Oakes, Roy Walsh, Phil Watts, Tony Webster, and David Whiting.

  2. Apologies for Absence

    Apologies were received from:-
    Helen Tucker, Barbara Townsend, Derek Jackson, Martin Waldron and Joy Martin.

  3. Loss of Members through death

    The meeting stood in silence to remember Gillian Ditchburn of the Clatfords, Arthur Braine of Burghclere, and Bob Moseley of Christchurch Priory.

  4. Minutes of the last meeting (2 March 1996)

    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. Best kept tower competition. District Secretaries reported that there was a lack of enthusiasm for running a competition at present.

    2. Essex Shield striking competition. The Guild did not enter a band this year because of difficulties in arranging band. The Secretary hoped that a volunteer could be found to arrange a band to enter the 1997 competition which will be held towards the end of September.

    3. Guild details on the Internet, Ian McCallion reported that names and addresses for tower correspondents had not yet been put on the Guild's Web pages. Following a discussion, it was agreed that tower secretaries would be asked by District Secretaries, when compiling information for the Guild Report, to indicate that they wished their details to be published on the Web and the information would then be added in respect of those persons.

    4. Inventory of Guild property. The Secretary had obtained an estimate for the cost of replacing the trophy for the 8 bell striking competition and the trophies would be included within the Guild's insurance cover. District Secretaries were asked to advise the Secretary of any cups or trophies held by them and their approximate replacement cost by 31 December and these could then also be included under the Guild's policy, Ian McCallion reminded District Secretaries that he was waiting to hear from them regarding the whereabouts of model bells within Guild towers.

    5. Bell stock survey - progress. Phil Watts had prepared a report for the Committee which had been previously circulated. Phil advised that the pilot survey had been slightly delayed but he hoped the questionnaires would be dispatched during the week commencing 8 December. The Master advised that the Revd David Cawley of Leicester had some notes on bells of the Channel Islands and he would try to obtain more information with a view to considering publication by the Guild.

  6. Secretary's Communications

    1. The Hampshire Federation of Women's Institutes had written to draw attention to their centenary celebrations and asked that towers consider ringing between 18.30 and 20.30 on Wednesday 19 February 1997.

    2. The Secretary had received a letter from Steven Castle which he circulated at the meeting.

  7. Sub-Committees' Reports and Accounts for 1995

    1. Striking Competitions. The report and accounts had been circulated with the agenda, and John Colliss mentioned minor amendments which the committee wished to make to the report. Subject to these alterations, the report and accounts were accepted. John Colliss advised that the inter district shield only had room for one more small shield on the front. He agreed to obtain quotations for moving some of the small shields to the back.

      Barry Downer advised that the Isle of Wight District members had been very cross when the 10 bell striking competition had to be cancelled through lack of support, particularly when they made great efforts to support all the competitions held on the mainland. The Master acknowledged that there was a problem and stated that the Executive Committee was sympathetic to the concerns of the Isle of Wight ringers. John Colliss advised that it was intended that a future 8 bell competition should be held on the Isle of Wight.

    2. Education. The report had been circulated with the agenda and subject to a minor amendment regarding the use of the simulator, was accepted. Gail Cater agreed to arrange for the simulator to be checked for electrical safety by David Bagley.

    3. Social. The Committee's report was not accepted and the Social Committee was asked to re-submit the report to the March meeting.

  8. BRF Fund Raising Committee - sales progress.

    June Mitchell advised that the committee had considered the sale of mugs, but had not yet found a suitable supplier. Derek Jackson had worked very hard at selling tea towels and there were now only a few remaining. Sweatshirts could now be ordered and publicity material for these had been given to District Secretaries. Orders for these needed to be received by June before 28 February.

  9. Life Membership Proposals

    It was reported that Dorothy Cherret of St John, Bournemouth had been ringing for over 50 years and was recommended for Life membership by the Christchurch and Southampton District. The Master proposed that this should be recommended to the AGM and this was agreed.

  10. PRO'S and Librarian's Budget Requests for 1997

    Kim Matthews proposed that the library funds be topped up by £75. This was seconded by John Colliss and agreed.

    Ian McCallion proposed that the PRO'S funds be topped up by £150. This was seconded by Bob Cater and agreed.

    Phil Watts indicated that the Belfry Stewardship Committee was likely to be seeking a top up of £150 at the March meeting.

  11. Preparation of Guild Report for 1996

    Ruth Jackson advised that it seemed likely that the Report would be printed once again by Papyrus, but it was agreed that the final decision would be taken by the Principal Officers. Ruth reminded those present that reports should be sent to her as soon as possible - ideally within a week of them being approved. For District Secretaries the deadline was 28 February, but it would assist the editor if information could be with her before that date. It was agreed that more advertisers should be sought and that persons changing their surname could have both names printed in one report if they so wished.

    District Secretaries were asked to return any stocks of the 1995 Report. Ceri Dodd asked that copy be submitted on diskette if possible or otherwise on white paper to assist with scanning. Officers were asked to check their details and postcodes in the report.

  12. Social Committee - resignation of Convenor

    The Secretary had received a letter from Joy Martin in which she advised that she had resigned as Convenor of the Social Committee. A discussion followed on the role of the sub-committee during which John Davey advised that although he was arranging the 1997 Guild Dinner, the remaining three members of the Social Committee did not feel able to arrange any other events. Bob Cater offered to arrange the 1998 Dinner and it was then proposed by Tony Smith that the AGM should include an item to elect a Social Sub Committee to arrange the Annual Guild Dinner initially, but with a view to the Committee themselves determining what other events they might arrange. This was seconded by the Master and agreed. Phil Watts pointed out that this would remove the need for Districts to appoint Social Committee Representatives. It was however open to Districts to appoint whatever officers they required and Districts were invited by the Secretary to forward to him names of anyone interested in joining the new Social Committee for consideration at the AGM.

  13. Guild Life Membership - proposed change of rules

    Catherine Wood spoke to the paper which she had prepared and which had been circulated with the agenda. The Secretary read the contents of a letter which he had received from Barbara Townsend. Amongst other things, this suggested that the matter should be referred to Districts for their comments. Following a discussion, this proposal was seconded by Stuart Heath and it was agreed that the matter would be considered again at the March meeting in the light of comments received from Districts.

  14. Ringing and the Millennium

    Various papers had been circulated with the agenda relating to this matter from Ian McCallion and Bob Cater (reports from the Central Council seminar on "Sharing Good Practice"), and a letter from Jane Wilkinson, the President of the Council. The Secretary proposed that the Guild should establish a small group to consider the matter and make a first report to the next meeting. It was agreed that the group should include the convenors of the Education, and Belfry Stewardship Committees together with the Guild PRO, the Master, the Secretary, and Francis Mitchell. The Secretary agreed to call the first meeting in January 1997.

  15. Guild Librarian - suggested change of title

    The Secretary had prepared a paper on this matter which he had circulated with the agenda. The Master proposed that the AGM be recommended to change the title of the Librarian to Guild Librarian and Archivist, and this was agreed.

  16. Future Guild Events

    Dates for 1997 mentioned at the meeting were as follows:-

    15 FebruaryEducation Committee event - joint with Dorset CountyRingwood
    31 MarchOpen DayBasingstoke District
    12 AprilEducation Committee event
    19 AprilGuild Dinner
    16 May6 Bell striking competitionBishopstoke?
    17 MayInter District and 8 bell striking competitionBasingstoke?
    14 JuneEducation Committee event
    5 JulyAGM - Southampton (Meeting etc at St Barnabas)
    20 SeptemberEducation Committee event

  17. Date and place of future meetings

    The next meeting was already arranged for 1st March 1997 at St Barnabas, Southampton. It was suggested that the November meeting might be held on Saturday 22nd November 1997.

  18. Any other business

    1. It was generally felt that it would be worthwhile to have a social in the evening following the AGM. Also the Trustees of the BRF were planning to hold an open meeting on the work of the BRF from 11.00 until 12.30 on the day of the AGM.

    2. Gail Cater advised that two of the existing five members of the Education Committee would not be seeking re-election at the AGM and she was concerned, particularly since no-one had responded to the newsletter item seeking volunteers.

    3. Stuart Heath advised that he was still receiving mail sent to his old address and asked members to amend their records. Stuart's new address is 12 Rannoch Close, Fareham, Hants PO17 6BE Tel: 01329 829255.

    There being no further business, the Master closed the meeting with a prayer at 12.55.