A total of 106 members and guests enjoyed a splendid evening at The Winchester and Portsmouth D.G. Annual Dinner which was held at a new venue, Potters Heron, Ampfield. The fact that the Assistant Manager of the Hotel proved to be a more than competent ringer who had recently moved into the area may have had something to do with this (he was immediately signed on for the Cathedral Band) but chief credit must go to Gail Cater and her Committee for arranging such a successful evening.

Richard Youdale in full flow. Mr. Arthur Davis looks on.
Arthur Davis, Richard Youdale

The Master, Mrs. Gilian Davis, welcomed all to the Dinner and introduced the first speaker Mr. Richard Youdale. Mr. Youdale has that unhappy knack of proving to be such an entertaining speaker that all those who have to follow wish that they had never agreed to speak on the same cast, so to speak. He claimed that he could not understand why he had been asked to attend as guest speaker - had he failed Bob Caters with Bob Cater? Perhaps as a schoolmaster he was expected to add cultural tone. A series of character acts of former Masters followed and various accents poured forth - a veritable Mike Yarwood in embryo. His only slip was to announce that the Secretary had told him, in confidence, that working for a Lady Master was a bit like working at No. 10! (At this, Mrs. Davis looked long and hard at the Secretary who in turn studiously gazed at his notes).

To reply to the toast to "The Guild", Mr. Michael Young of The Alton and Petersfield District admitted that he had been dragooned into speaking. His main theme was that there was a danger of becoming fanatical about ringing and it was essential to develop other interests. As far as ringing was concerned he considered all should go for quality rather than quantity. He then listed some of the other interests he had developed. Apparently these included juggling and he challenged his audience to juggle three balls. Roger Bailey (from London University) claimed that this was within his capabilities, but when three squash balls were produced he hastily declined to demonstrate his skill (anyhow the green didn't match his jacket!)

In the interval that followed, The Liss Handbell Ringers under Mr. Bernard Gambrill demonstrated their considerable skills.

Derek Jackson

Mr. Derek Jackson Guild Secretary was called by "The Iron Lady" to propose the toast to "The Visitors". Rising somewhat shamefaced he proceeded to string together a series of jokes all of a similar quality to the one about The Social Committee trying to decide whether the menu should include venison or budgerigar (i.e. whether it should be "deer" or "cheep")! In more serious vein he remarked on the reason for joining The Guild, how to judge its success (perhaps numbers of first pealers an indication) and then spoke about visitors in general whether to other Guilds or towers. Finally he mentioned that he had received notice that half of Mr. and Mrs. Cheater of Ringwood's estate had been left to The Guild Restoration Fund.

The Rev Roger Keeley, flanked by Guild Master Mrs Gilian Davis and Juggler extraordinaire Michael Young.
Michael Young, Roger Keeley, Gilian Davis

Inviting The Rev. Roger Keeley to respond, Mrs. Davis took the opportunity to congratulate The Salisbury Guild, of which he is Master, on reaching their Centenary this year.

Rev. Keeley thanked the Master for her congratulations on his Guild's Centenary and said how pleased he was to come to the Dinner - especially since he had met Bert Luck from Canterbury who had known his father many years ago. He thanked all concerned for a most enjoyable evening.

At this stage, near panic ensued when The Master announced that the bar would he closed in precisely 15 minutes. However, all who required final fortification were happily catered for.

The Ringing World No. 3709, May 28, 1982, page 438