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, Judy Bishop, opened the meeting at 10.45 am with a prayer. The Master particular welcomed those attending for the first time, Prisca Tremeer, Channel Islands District Secretary, Peter Tyler, Isle of Wight, Andrew Banks, A & P District and Rosalind Turrell, Basingstoke District.

    The others attending were:- Gail Cater, Peter Clarke, John Colliss, Andrew Craddock, John Davey, Mark Esbester, Gilian Davis, Ceri Dodd, Alan Hoar, Elizabeth Johnson, Kim Matthews, June Mitchell, Brian Oakes, Joan Parry, Malcolm Powell, Tony Smith, Barbara Townsend, Philip Watts, Faith and Tony Webster, Val Welch, David Whiting, Mike Winterbourne.

  2. Apologies for Absence

    Apologies were received from Linda Bulpitt, Derek Jackson, Ian McCallion, Francis Mitchell and Martin Waldron.

  3. Loss of Members through death since the Guild AGM in July

    The meeting stood in silence to remember Jack Dodds from Fordingbridge, Richard Joyce from the Alresford area, Edna Jones from Southsea & Portsea, Charles E. Causton from Shorwell, Andrew Gaskin from Bishopstoke & Hordle, Gwynne Jones from Hurstbourne Priors and Colin Hitchin from All Saints, Basingstoke.

  4. Minutes of the last Meeting (28 March 1998)

    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. Channel Island bells. Tony Smith reported that he had had a lengthy reply from the Revd. D. Cawley amending the original draft together with a marked version of Sharpe's copy of the other Channel Island Bells. With modern methods, pictures and illustrations could more easily be reproduced and once the matter of copyright had been looked into, a work to cover all the Channel Island Bells could be produced. Tony Smith is willing to look into the copyright issues and to turn this into a sensible draft as long as the Executive Committee wished it and would be willing to support the publication economically at an appropriate time. There would probably be no profit. The Guild would be the publisher and own the copyright. This was all approved.

    2. Guild Public Liability Insurance. Because there had been several inquiries about this, Michael Bubb had drawn up some brief notes of explanation of the Insurance, which were circulated in anticipation of discussion at the next meeting. He requested that should anyone need further information or had queries on the notes, then please would they contact him.

    3. Districts' financial submissions to Guild Treasurer. Michael Bubb had hoped to have had a treasurers' meeting but he is writing to them on various points by the end of January. He reminded the meeting that new Guild subscription rates take effect immediately after the AGM where they are approved. Names of members in the Guild Report must be reconciled with the amounts received in subscriptions.

    4. New Members Packs. Robert Cater has not finished the packs. In addition to membership certificates and explanations of the BRF and Insurance etc., there will be a leaflet possibly similar to the one from the Lincoln Diocese Guild, which was circulated. Perhaps each tower could have a pack to demonstrate to new ringers what the Guild had to offer.

  6. Matters arising from the Guild AGM

    1. Letter from Member re Guild subscriptions. This letter from Margaret Downer (IOW) was sent to all Executive members for their view. It proposed having relatively high subscriptions. Prisca Tremeer pointed out that Guild rules quote the minimum rate but one can pay more, as Channel Islanders do. There was a long discussion of the subject, with a number of views. One was that subscriptions should be based on the amount the Treasurer recommends in order to service Guild activities. Another was that the subscriptions should be larger and that surplus funds be put to the BRF. A vote was taken on whether the Executive Committee wanted to

      1. Leave it to the Treasurer to make a recommendation on Guild needs (17 for)

      2. Support Margaret Downer's proposal for higher subscriptions (7 for)

      It was suggested that steadily increasing subscriptions were probably more acceptable than a large increase every few years.

      Phil Watts requested that the issue of needs should be discussed and a business plan for the Guild drawn up. The Master asked that any aspects the members would like covered in it should be brought to his attention. It was noted that Margaret Downer may, of course, propose a change in subscriptions at the Guild AGM.

    2. Open day Isle of Wight - final amount to BRF The Isle of Wight members were to be congratulated on raising £695.70

    3. Essex Shield striking competition - September 1998 Once again no band had been entered.

  7. Life Members under "50 years membership" rule.

    Blanche Hunt became a member on 30 April 1949 and a photocopy of her membership certificate had been received. It was requested that the 1949 Report be checked by District Secretaries for any further applicants.

  8. BRF Matters.

    Michael Bubb reported that £644 had been raised for the BRF by the colleagues of the late Richard Joyce. Michael was preparing a paper for the next meeting on the BRF Trustees' methodology in recommending grants. This opened a long discussion on the subject. John Davey suggested that grants should not be given for augmentations: further discussion suggested grants for augmentations from say 5 to 6 bells but not for higher numbers. A final suggestion was agreed that no formal change to the present policy be adopted, but that requests for grants be looked at more carefully. It was said that voting for grants en bloc at the AGM does not give adequate opportunity for debate on individual cases. Opportunity to debate individual applications was desirable. Barbara Townsend suggested that there should be an "augmentation total" and a "restoration total". Mike Bubb's paper will take all these points into consideration.

  9. Preparation of Guild Report for 1998.

    Tony Smith asked that Officers' and Committees' reports and tower information from District Secretaries be returned in a form that did not need re-typing. Andrew Craddock asked if a machine readable copy of tower contacts could be made available to The Ringing World. On a vote it was agreed by 15 to 2 to supply tower contacts' names solely for the purpose of a mail shot from The Ringing World direct to towers.

  10. Guild Calendar for 1999 - distribution and sales

    Roy LeMarechal has produced the calendar and all copies were now sold with a profit of about £200 expected. A small re-run could be made. For the future, Roy was asked to have the calendar available many months earlier to ensure distribution to all Districts in time for their autumn meetings.

  11. Reports and Accounts of sub-committees for 1998

    1. Striking Competitions.

      John Colliss' report was received with grateful thanks and it was noted that a tape of good ringing will be sent to Legoland.

    2. Social.

      John Davey's report was received with thanks.

    3. BRF Fund Raising

      June Mitchell reported that the Committee has embroidered polo shirts for sale. On her request she was granted £20 towards initial costs of production.

  12. Approval of sub-committees' budgets for 1999.

    The Following budgets were approved:-

    Guild Public Relations Officer£175
    Library, for binding etc.£200
    "Ring in 2000" Group£150
    Social Committee£20
    Report Editor£30

  13. Guild Simulator enhancement

    A paper and quotation submitted with the Agenda was agreed, with spending up to £400 approved. The equipment will be overhauled and a new set of 8 sensors will be purchased thus releasing the old ones to be installed on a permanent basis in 16 towers.

  14. Interim report of Group looking at Guild Library

    Gail Cater put the Group's report before the meeting which recommended, as an urgent first step, that the bookcase be moved from Christchurch Priory. Jack Walters has agreed to bind those books in need of re-binding. It was agreed that the group be given £200 for binding etc., and that Bob Cater will ask Winchester Cathedral if it could possibly be located there. Tony Smith resigned from the Library Group.

    The Secretary will request Districts to put all old minute books in the Hampshire County Council Record Office along with those already there.

  15. "Ring in 2000" Group matters.

    Phil Watts reported as Andrew Pickett, the Group Convenor, has moved away.

    He recently attended a national meeting on the subject with Mike Winterbourne. The group is preparing for the final 13 months work: recruiting leaflets are being distributed in all public libraries in the Guild area. District Secretaries reported that 200 new ringers had been recruited in the year.

    The clergy have not yet been informed of the service at noon on 1/1/2000 by the Bishops. Bob Cater is pursuing this. In the second half of 1999 a representative from each District will be needed to ensure enough ringers are in place to sound all bells at the same time during the service.

  16. Belfry Stewardship Committee matters.

    Phil Watts reported that an advanced belfry maintenance course had recently been held. Help had been given concerning the one bell at South Baddesley and the medieval 3 at Headbourne Worthy have been refurbished for chiming. The augmented 8 at Hurstboume Priors will be ready at Easter.

    He requested District Secretaries to return the Tower Survey forms for their area quickly. To date there has been only a 25% return.

  17. Guild Headed Notepaper

    Supplies had run out. The Officers had selected a new font for the heading of fresh notepaper, which will be widely available soon, along with computer discs containing the headings.

  18. Future Guild Events

    1. Open Day A & P District - Easter Monday 5 April 1999. This has been announced in the Ringing World.

    2. Guild Dinner - Winchester Cathedral Refectory - Saturday, 10 April 1999.

      Towers will be open for afternoon ringing. Try and get people to come. There is a list of people willing to have ringers to stay with them.

    3. Guild AGM - Portsmouth District - Saturday, 3 July 1999

      This will be an all day event; the meeting will probably be at Soberton.

    4. Striking Competitions

      Inter district 8-bell competition will be on Friday, 2 July before the AGM
      6 & 8 - bell tower competitions will be on Saturday, 15 May in the A & P District

    5. Education Committee events

      Saturday, 20 February Winchester Cathedral - Rounds, call changes and plain hunt on higher numbers.
      Saturday, 6th March. Listening and striking (A&P Hawkley)

    6. Helping at Winchester Cathedral Refectory.

      The dates are 1st December 1998, 16th March,15th June and 12th December, 1999.

      Carrie Eisenhauer is in charge.

  19. Date and Place of Next Meeting - Saturday 27 March 1999

    The meeting will be held at St Barnabas Church Hall, Southampton at 10.15 a.m. The Master, The Rev Barry Fry will not be available that day but the meeting will be taken by Gilian Davis, the Immediate Past Master.

  20. Any Other Business

    1. John Davey as District Secretary for the Past Army Guild reported that the AGM is on 13th March 1999 at Ower in the New Forest. Any ex-army members were welcome to attend.

    2. June Mitchell reported that Peter Claridge has volunteered to run a raffle for the BRF. It will cost £600 to set up. June said she would seek approval at the next meeting.

    3. Andrew Craddock volunteered to organise a band for the Essex Shield in 1999.

    4. Bob Cater said that he has the Guild's electric water boiler (tea urn) which is available for borrowing.

    5. It was reported that Whitchurch 10-bell shop is still open selling bric-a-brac to raise money for the augmentation and refurbishment at Whitchurch.

    The Meeting ended at 1.12pm.