1. Opening prayer and Master's Welcome.

    In the absence of the Master, Rev Barry Fry, Gilian Davis, the Immediate Past Master, chaired the meeting, supported by the Honorary General Secretary, Robert Cater, the Honorary General Treasurer, Michael Bubb and the Minute Secretary, Judy Bishop. She opened the meeting at 10.20 am with a reading on World Peace. She particularly welcomed Rex Corke, representing the C & S District, and those attending for the first time, Sarah Hutchinson, Portsmouth District Secretary and Jack Walters, the new Librarian and Archivist. She welcomed a "returner" Wendy Ling, Winchester District. The others attending were:- Gail Cater, Ceri Dodd, Mark Esbester, Alan Hoar, Derek Jackson, Ian McCallion, Kim Matthews, Francis Mitchell, June Mitchell, Brian Oakes, Joan Parry, Rosalind Turrell, Philip Watts, David Whiting and Mike Winterbourne.

  2. Apologies for Absence

    Apologies were received from Rev. Barry Fry, Andrew Banks, Linda Bulpitt, Peter Clarke, John Colliss, Andrew Craddock, John Davey, Tony Smith, Prisca Tremeer, Faith and Tony Webster and Val Welch. It was reported that Andrew Craddock had suffered a mild heart attack. He was soon to leave hospital but would be out of action for several months.

  3. Loss of Members through death since the last meeting on 28 November, 1998.

    The meeting stood in silence to remember Anne Guy from Freshwater, Joan Woodbridge from Greywell and Outram Haythorne (LM).

  4. Minutes of the last Meeting

    Item 5 a. Channel Island Bells. The last four lines of this item were amended to read:- David Cawley is willing to look into the copyright issues and Tony Smith will 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 hopefully own the copyright. This was all approved.

    The minutes of the last meeting, previously circulated by the Minute Secretary were then approved by the meeting and signed.

  5. Matters arising from the minutes.

    1. Channel Island bells. Tony Smith has amended his previous draft and has nearly finished applying David Cawley's amendments to the 1964 text.

    2. Simulator enhancement. Mike Winterbourne reported that the enhanced simulator is to be tested soon in a tower in the Andover District. A list of the 16 towers where the old photoheads are to be fitted will be published in the Guild News.

    3. Public liability insurance - explanatory leaflet. Michael Bubb's new notes on Public Liability Insurance had been circulated. There were some suggestions for improving clarity and it was agreed that compounding members were not covered by the Insurance. It was also noted that there was no age limitation. Because ringers have to be Guild Members to be covered, it was agreed to propose at the AGM a new class of Member, "Probationary Member", at a subscription of £1. This would apply to all new learners who wished to avail themselves of the Insurance and the subscription would be deductible from Ringing or Junior Member subscription when they joined the Guild in these capacities. Mike Bubb would work up the proposal and it was suggested he might like to liaise with Tony Smith, Mark Esbester and Bob Cater.

      It was agreed that all towers should be strongly recommended to keep a full record of maintenance work carried out.

      It was noted that the Guild does not cover members for Personal Accident: this usually being done via a church's own insurance. However, on a suggestion from Phil Watts, Mike Bubb would enquire about such insurance for members of the Belfry Stewardship Committee, when they were working on bell installations.

    4. BRF grants - explanatory leaflet. The leaflet will be finished soon by Mike Bubb.

    5. Information re tower correspondents to the Ringing World. Bob Cater has given the Ringing World permission to have these (via Tony Smith), but solely for use in soliciting sales.

    6. Library location. Winchester Cathedral has given permission for the Library to be housed in the ringing chamber and it will be moved there during the year.

  6. Life Membership proposals under the "50 year" rule.

    There were no nominations.

  7. Approval of reports (and accounts where applicable) for 1998.

    1. Secretary. The report had been circulated and was approved.

    2. Treasurer and Guild accounts. The accounts had been circulated and were approved. Mike Bubb said he would seek at the AGM to increase the subscriptions for Compounding Members to the same level as for Ringing Members.

    3. Belfry Stewardship Committee. The report and accounts had been circulated and were approved and Michael Bubb thanked Phil Watts for all his help.

    4. Restoration work in 1998. The report was approved.

    5. Peal Recorder. The report was approved.

    6. Public Relations Officer and inventory. Old publicity material will be deposited with the Archivist. After discussion it was decided that at the AGM a new committee, not necessarily made up of District Press Officers, should be proposed to carry on the work already in hand and to continue the work of Ring in 2000. By the end of May Ian McCallion will prepare a paper for presentation at the AGM. He will also collect a list of E mail addresses of Guild Members if they are sent to him, to set up a "W & P Information Line"

    7. Education Committee. The report and accounts had been circulated and were approved.

    8. "Ring in 2000 Group". The stand was used at 13 events and 6 new bands had been formed. The report had been circulated and the accounts were available at the meeting, both were approved. It was noted that some plastic panels on the display stand had been replaced with plywood and 5 new laminated notices for the stand will be available next week.

      There had been a number of enquiries and ringers had come forward as a result of the Ring in 2000 leaflets being distributed in public libraries and elsewhere.

      Several ideas were suggested to commemorate the year 2000

      1. There should be a Guild peal rung in every tower. When recording these peals in the Ringing World a footnote "a W & P 2000 Peal" should be added. Perhaps money collected from these peals could go to a specific project - Looking after bells or education.
      2. Every member capable of ringing a ¼ peal should do so.
      3. There should be a meeting of Life Members.
      4. A recording should be made of all new rings.
      5. The leaflets should continue to be used.
      6. The names of all new millennium ringers should be recorded.
      7. Open days at all towers.

      Bob Cater had contacted the Bishop of Winchester, who is not going to recommend to clergy that they hold a service at noon on 1 January, 2000 but he will support those that do. In July the Archbishop of Canterbury will select a special prayer written by young persons and in August the Open Churches Trust will issue a service sheet with this prayer included. There has been no response as yet from the Bishop of Portsmouth.

    9. Central Council's Complaints Advisor. The report was accepted. Kim Matthews is to inform Graham Grant of the new development of flats next to St. Peter's Church in Bournemouth. It was reported from the Isle of Wight that a development of flats had gone ahead on a church car park and though the vicar had made it clear that there would be noise from bells the estate agents failed to mention this and as a result some purchasers had withdrawn their offers.

    10. Librarian and Archivist. The report and accounts had been circulated and were approved.

      Jack Walters has taken on this post (subject to ratification and then election at the AGM) and reported that the Library move to the Cathedral is in hand. He would like views from members as to what services they would like the library to provide. Phil Watts asked if the original certificate recording the first peal of London Surprise Major to be rung in Hampshire by an entirely resident band at North Stoneham in 1927 should go to the Records Office and wondered if the Guild would contribute to a duplicate replacement. Gilian Davis thanked Kim Matthews for all her work on the library.

    Tony Smith would like all Officers' and Committees' reports to be sent to his E mail address as soon as possible.

  8. BRF Trustees' Report and accounts for 1998.

    The report and accounts had been approved by the Trustees Committee and had been audited. Mark Esbester hoped that at the next quarterly meeting of each District it could be suggested that each tower contribute the equivalent of one wedding fee a year to the BRF.

  9. Preparation of Guild Report for 1998.

    Bob Cater reported that Tony Smith was awaiting a few reports from Committees and Officers but had all District material. The advertising rates have been increased from £13/£26 to £14.50/£28 for half/full page respectively and adverts from Eayre & Smith and Whites of Appleton had been obtained. Childs the printers are now part of Profile and he is obtaining quotes from fresh printers. It is hoped that Reports will be sent to Districts straight from the printers. He was asked to liaise with the Officers before placing the order.

  10. Keeping information on the World Wide Web up to date.

    David Forder puts information onto the Web supplied to him by Ian McCallion; but it is difficult logistically to keep this up to date. None was collected from Tower Correspondents when they were contacted earlier this year for information for the Guild Report. Ian will ask District Secretaries to obtain permission from District Officers for their names, addresses and telephone numbers to appear.

  11. BRF Fund Raising Committee matters.

    June Mitchell reported that there was a temporary difficulty with the raffle as Peter and Wendy Claridge had had a fire at their home. The 70 polo shirts ordered will be available on the Easter Monday 5 April Open Day. A ringer near Alresford is making 3 inch high, cast, hand painted figures of bellringers, one male and one female, to sell for £18. We could have them at £13 but a minimum order of 100 is required. It was felt than an outlay of £1300 was not possible so June will approach him again for better terms. The ringer concerned makes similar figures of Jane Austen characters for sale at her house at Chawton. Mark Esbester reported on an idea from the Central Council BRF committee that every parish should be approached to become a "Friend of the BRF" for an annual fee of say £15. In return they would receive an annual newsletter, leaflet or letter. These requests would be sent out with Diocesan mail. The idea was approved in principal and it was agreed that Mark and June should discuss this further to work it up.

  12. "Ring in 2000" Group Matters.

    These were dealt with in Item 7 viii.

  13. Possibility of setting up a Ringing Centre in the Guild.

    Bob Cater spoke about Ringing Centres which are supported by the Central Council and expressed a hope that such centres could be managed by the Guilds/Associations. He asked anyone interested in exploring the W & P setting up such a centre to contact him. Gail Cater suggested that perhaps the formation of a ringing centre could be a millennium project for the Guild.

  14. Information from the Secretary.

    1. Portsmouth DAC Bells Adviser. Hugh Routh from Steep has become the adviser on the recommendation of the Guild.

    2. Central Council meeting re BRF's. Mark Esbester reported on the meeting held on 28 February at Swindon which discussed fund raising and information on running BRF's, managing the funds and awarding grants. Mark will act as a focus for information on fund raising for towers in the Guild and information will be published in the next Guild News.

    3. Winchester Diocesan clergy conference. This is to be held over 3 days in June in a conference centre in Derbyshire and the Guild has been invited to have a display at it. Ian McCallion is preparing this

    4. Distribution of minutes to District Chairmen. It was agreed that the minutes of the Executive Committee Meetings would be sent to District Chairmen.

  15. Future Guild Events.

    1. Open Day, A & P District, Easter Monday 5 April. This had been advertised on the Web and in the Ringing World.

    2. Guild Dinner, Winchester Cathedral Refectory, 10 April. It is hoped that as many members as possible will attend. The Guild Master, Malcolm Tyler and Phil Watts will be the speakers.

    3. The Ringing World Roadshow, Tewkesbury, 17 April. It was noted that the dedication of the new bells at Hurstbourne Priors will take place at 5.30 pm on the same day.

    4. Striking Competitions. It was noted that both the 6 bell and 8 bell competitions will be held on Saturday, 15 May.

      6 bell competitionSaturday, 15 MayLiss. St. Peter2.00 pm.
      8 bell competitionSaturday, 15 MayLiss. St. Mary.2.45 pm.
      Tea and results at St. Mary's
      8 bell inter District competitionFriday, 2 July.New Alresford.6.15 pm.

    5. Guild AGM, Portsmouth District, 3 July. This will be a full day event with the meeting held at Soberton and ringing at various towers in the morning and at Soberton in the evening.

    6. Education Committee events. There had been 34 applicants for "Ringing on higher numbers." 17 ringers took part and 14 are on a waiting list. The Listening and Striking course had been judged a great success. On 12 June, raising and lowering, Bob Major and Minor and Rutland will be catered for and in October a full day with 6 options will be arranged in the Basingstoke area.

    7. The dedication of the re-hanging of the Lyndhurst bells will be on Sunday, 11 April at 9.45 am and the dedication of the Purbrook bells will be on Sunday, 27 June at 10.00 am.

  16. Date and place of next meeting.

    The next meeting will be held on Saturday, 20 November 1999 at St. Barnabas Church Hall, Lodge Road, Southampton at 10.15 am.

  17. Any other business.

    1. June Mitchell said there will be a concert by Richard Wakeman, a rock musician of the "70"s, in Shanklin church at 7.30 pm on 21 May 1999 in aid of the bells. Tickets are £10 and more details are available on the Web.

    2. Mike Bubb ascertained that the Guild hand bells are safely located in Kim Matthews' loft and will be transferred to the new Librarian and Archivist.

    3. Mike Bubb reported that the bells in Vale church in Guernsey may be out of action for some months later this year.

    4. Derek Jackson reported that 30 July 1999 will be the 250th Anniversary of the first recorded peal in Hampshire. This was Grandsire Triples at Portsmouth. 27 September 1999 will be 100th anniversary of the first peal of Stedman Caters for the Guild at Winchester, conducted by George Williams. The 5037 changes took 3 hrs. 30 mins. The 1899 Guild Report states this was the first peal on the ten with the tenor rung by one person, Frederick S. Bayley.

    5. Mark Esbester produced an 1868 bell which had been in a house in Fareham for many years. He had purchased it very reasonably and it was proposed that once it had an old style wooden headstock manufactured and been hung in a frame, it should be donated to the Guild as a demonstration model.

    6. As this was Derek Jackson's last Executive Committee Meeting Gilian Davis thanked him for all the work he had done over the years.

    The meeting ended at 12.58 pm.