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 10.25 with a prayer. The Master especially welcomed Andrew Pickett, Convenor of the "Ring in 2000" Committee, Mike Winterbourne, Convenor of the Education Committee, and Roger Knight, standing in for Brian Oakes.

    The others attending were:- Gail Cater, Gilian Davis, Ceri Dodd, Elizabeth Johnson, Kim Matthews, June Mitchell, Joan Parry, Barbara Townsend, Faith Webster, John Colliss, John Davey, Ian McCallion, Andrew Craddock, Alan Hoar, Derek Jackson, Francis Mitchell, Tony Smith, Phil Watts, Tony Webster, and David Whiting.

  2. Apologies for Absence

    Apologies were received from:-
    Martin Waldron, Helen Tucker, Linda Bulpitt, Liz Watts, Val Welch, Mark Esbester, Raymond Walsh, and Brian Oakes.

  3. Loss of Members through death

    No deaths were reported.

  4. Minutes of the last meeting (1 March 1997)

    Minutes of the last meeting, previously circulated by the Minute Secretary, were approved by the meeting and signed.

  5. Matters Arising (not elsewhere on the Agenda)

    1. Essex Shield Striking Competition. Stuart Heath and Stephen Castle had been unable to arrange a band, but Stephen Castle had been asked to judge the competition.

    2. Inventory of Guild Property. The Treasurer had added various items to the Guild's all risks insurance policy and each District Secretary had a list of their items which were included. The Treasurer asked that any new items be notified to him before the end of the year.

    3. Channel Islands bells. Revd D Cawley had now sent his manuscript to the Master. Phil Watts felt that the Belfry Stewardship Committee would be interested in helping to publish the material and offered to try to get the material into machine readable format, taking advice as necessary from experts.

    4. Life Membership of the Exercise. Tony Smith and Andrew Craddock had raised this with the Administrative Committee of the Central Council and the Secretary had a letter published in The Ringing World. The President of the Council felt that there was inadequate support for the matter to be considered by the Council at present.

  6. Matters Arising from Guild AGM

    1. Helping at Winchester Cathedral Refectory. Tessa Smith had kindly agreed to arrange helpers in October and December and Patricia Spink had offered to organise helpers on three dates in 1998. 5 volunteers were needed in the morning and 5 in the afternoon with the teams overlapping at lunch time. The Secretary would circulate towers seeking volunteers.

    2. The 1998 Guild and Ringing World Calendar. Roy LeMarechal had supplied material for the calendar and profits would come to the Guild BRF. Andrew Craddock confirmed that the Guild would not be liable for any financial loss.

  7. Life Membership Proposals for 1998

    No proposals were notified to the meeting.

  8. Bell Restoration Fund Matters

    The Treasurer thanked Tony Smith for chairing the Open Meeting on AGM day. It had been a useful meeting for the Trustees, but he felt it was a pity that more members did not attend. Notes of the meeting had been circulated. The Trustees were proposing to send a leaflet to all towers to let members have more information about the BRF. A draft would be presented to the March Executive meeting. It was suggested that a leaflet containing information about the BRF which does not change frequently might usefully be prepared to be given to new members on their election.

  9. Keeping Track of Guild Membership

    Tony Smith reported on behalf of the sub committee formed to consider this matter which had met on 2 November. An accurate list of current members is needed by the Report Editor, Peal Recorder, and District Secretaries. The committee proposed an evolutionary approach using the Guild Report as a useful starting point and use of current examples of good practice in various Districts. It was proposed that as part of the preparation of the Guild Report, standard forms be issued to Districts to help them keep track of members. These will list existing members from the Report with space for recording subscriptions paid in the year and for the addition of new members and the date of their election. It was felt that the Guild Rule concerning payment of subscriptions needed to be enforced so that accurate forms could be completed at the end of each year. The committee recommended District Treasurers/Secretaries to record on the back of "bulk" receipts the names of those whose subscriptions had been paid.

    Ian McCallion asked that the Guild should try to record names of all ringers and not just Guild members. Tony Smith agreed, but advised that it was too late to do this for 1998. The forms to be sent to Districts would be split into member details which would be for the District Treasurer/Secretary to complete and tower information, ringing times/Incumbent etc, which could be forwarded to Tower Secretaries for completion.

    It was hoped that a volunteer might be found who would be willing to undertake historical research into old District minutes etc to try to produce additional membership information and District Secretaries were asked to raise this matter at their ADM's. A suggestion was also made that consideration be given to altering the Guild Rules so that subscriptions become payable by the AGM date rather than by 31 December in each year. District Secretaries were also asked to canvass opinion from their members on this suggestion for consideration at the next Executive Committee meeting.

  10. Preparation of the Guild Report for 1997

    Tony Smith thanked the Guild for his election as Report Editor. He advised that he was happy to receive information for the Report in any format including e-mail. He was proposing to include the Guild Rules in the 1997 report and an article about the Guild Insurance.

  11. "Ring in 2000 Initiative"

    Andrew Pickett introduced a paper he had circulated at the meeting which indicated that some 750 additional ringers needed to be recruited by the Guild if it was to achieve the objective of ringing every bell in the Guild for 5 minutes at noon on 1st January 2000. As part of the recruitment process the Committee proposed that 10,000 leaflets be produced at a cost of £741 and that a display stand be put together for use at shows etc at a cost of £1550. Subject to the Committee seeking sponsorship for the leaflets, Michael Bubb seconded the proposal to produce the leaflets. As to the display, the Committee's recommendation was approved in principle, subject to a detailed plan for the proposed use of the display being approved at the March Executive meeting. It was agreed that District Secretaries should advise members at their ADM's that the Executive Committee had approved production of the recruiting leaflets and also, in principle, the display stand.

  12. Budgets for 1998

    The following budgets were approved:-

    Report Editor£50 float
    Belfry Stewardship Committee350
    Education Committee50

  13. Reports of Sub-Committees for 1997

    1. Striking Competitions. The report and accounts had been circulated with the agenda and were accepted with thanks to John Colliss and his Committee.

    2. Education Committee. The report had been circulated with the agenda and was accepted with thanks to Mike Winterbourne and his Committee. The Master also expressed thanks to the previous members of the Education Committee.

    3. Social Committee. The report and accounts had been circulated with the agenda and were accepted with thanks to John Davey and the Committee.

    4. BRF Fund Raising. The report had been circulated with the agenda and was accepted with thanks to June Mitchell. June advised that she would be circulating towers with information regarding T-shirts and would also be happy to send another sweat shirt order. June asked for more volunteers to join her on the Committee of which she was now the only member and stressed that members should continue their efforts to raise funds for the BRF.

  14. Interim Report of the Belfry Stewardship Committee.

    Phil Watts circulated a report at the meeting which was accepted with thanks to the Committee.

  15. The Ringing World Ltd

    Andrew Craddock addressed the meeting on behalf of The Ringing World. The RW was considering using direct mail marketing to try to increase the circulation of The Ringing World and the Guild was one of those suggested for a pilot scheme. There were Data Protection Act implications if the Guild were to provide The Ringing World with personal information relating to members and there would be a need to include a statement in the Guild Report advising tower secretaries that their names and addresses might be passed to the Ringing World and that they could withdraw their names if they so wished. It was agreed that the Guild was happy to proceed in any appropriate way which might assist The Ringing World.

  16. Future Guild Events

    Dates for 1998 mentioned at the meeting were as follows:-

    March28Executive CommitteeSt Barnabas, Southampton
    April18Guild Dinner at Winchester Cathedral Refectory
    May9Isle of Wight Open Day
    9.00 am ferry from Portsmouth returning at 2100 from Fishbourne. 50p per tower £6 day.
    Newport - Ryde. No lunch break (bring sandwiches!). Tea and Biscuits at Whitwell
    May156 Bell striking Competition
    May16Inter-District and 8 Bell Striking CompetitionUpham/Bishop's Waltham
    July11Guild AGMHighclere
    September12?10 Bell striking competition and Evening Barn DancePortsmouth Cathedral?

  17. Date and Place of Next Meeting.

    The next meeting was to be held at 10.15 am on Saturday 28 March.

  18. Any Other Business

    1. Kim Matthew advised that she would not be seeking re-election at the AGM in July and asked members to give careful consideration to electing a replacement librarian/archivist.

    2. Phil Watts asked if the BRF trustees had produced an information sheet for towers giving advice as to the information needed when requesting grants. The Treasurer advised that this was in hand. In response to his question asking if there was a central repository for meeting dates, Phil was advised that the Guild PRO lists these in the Guild Newsletter.

    3. Gail Cater advised that she was the Central Council Education Committee's link with the Guild and it was agreed that this link was best made to the Convenor of the Guild Education Committee.

    4. Derek Jackson advised the meeting of notable events occurring in 1998 as follows:-

      The Andover District would celebrate its 70th birthday in January.
      4th June was the 200th anniversary of the first peal at Winchester Cathedral
      3 October was the 100th anniversary of the first peal of Cambridge Surprise Major for the Guild (Soberton)
      8 December was the 100th anniversary of the first peal containing three lady ringers (Basingstoke).

    5. The Secretary advised that he had received a leaflet from Edinburgh Episcopal Cathedral of St Mary seeking funds for their proposed augmentation from 10 to 15.

    6. The Minute Secretary announced his resignation with effect from this meeting because of increasing family and other commitments. Tony Smith asked that the minutes should record sincere thanks to Andrew Case for his efficient work over several years. This was agreed with acclamation.

      It was proposed by Robert Cater and seconded by Phil Watts that Judy Bishop be co-opted as Minute Secretary until the 1998 AGM and this was agreed.

    7. Derek Jackson advised that he would not be seeking re-election as a Central Council Representative at the AGM

    There being no further business, the Master closed the meeting with a prayer at 1.25.