A representative gathering of Isle of Wight ringers assembled at Carisbrooke on Saturday week, when the annual meeting of the island district of the Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild was held. Ringers were present from Newport, Chale, Carisbrooke, Godshill and Ryde, and visitors from Portsmouth Cathedral.
Ringing in the afternoon was followed by the Guild's service, the preacher being the Rev. R. L. C. Newhouse, Rector of Chale, a ringing member of the Guild.
Dr. J. B. Williamson (district chairman) presided at the annual meeting, which followed tea at the Waverley Hotel.
Mr. F. Mew (Chale) referred to a suggestion made at the October meeting to add a sixth bell to the Chale tower as a memorial of the centenary of the wreck of the "Clarendon" in 1836. An empty pit was available in the tower, and the idea was to put in a treble bell to complete the ring of six, or, if possible, to install a peal of eight. With that object in view, Mr. Mew said he had endeavoured to get into touch with the owners of the ill-fated "Clarendon" and others associated with ships wrecked in the neighbourhood subsequently, but could trace none of them; probably in each case the business had closed down or passed into other hands.- The Rev. R. L. C. Newhouse said it would be a great joy to him if they could have a peal of eight at Chale; it would mean three more bells in commemoration of the "Clarendon."
The accounts, presented by the hon. auditor, Mr. H. A. Phillips showed receipts of £14 9s. 10d., including a balance of £4 10s. 10d. brought forward. The district expenditure was £3 15s. 10d., £5 4s. 6d. had been remitted to the general treasurer, and a balance of £5 9s. 6d. remained in hand.
Mr. B. J. Snow, hon. secretary and treasurer, in his report, referred to the active interest and assistance of the president, Dr. J. B. Williamson, and to his hospitality at the Chale meeting in the summer. Regret was expressed that some ringing members failed to attend at any of the meetings, even when held in their own tower, yet would go a distance to ring a peal. Interest in Guild matters unfortunately appeared to have waned at Freshwater, presumably through lack of ringers. With the completion of the restoration of the Godshill bells, the district could boast of one of the finest six-bell peals in the Guild, the "go" being perfect. Two spare pits were added when the new framework was erected, in readiness for two trebles, and it was hoped that the octave would be completed in the near future. The passing of the esteemed veteran ringer, Mr. Woodford, of Chale, was recorded with regret. He was greatly missed, especially at Chale, where he was a regular service ringer. There were 11 honorary and 65 ringing members.
Mr. H. Barton presented a report on his visits as ringing master. He had endeavoured without previous notice to visit each tower in union with the Guild.
The retiring president, Dr. J. B. Williamson, asked the members' acceptance of a mallet and block for the use of the chairman at their meetings. The articles were made from a beautiful piece of oak 300 years old, from a tower in Walsall.
The gift was gratefully accepted, amid applause.
Dr. Williamson was unanimously re-elected president, and Mr. H. Barton was reinstated as Ringing Master.
Mr. B. J. Snow, the zealous and able hon. secretary and treasurer, tendered his resignation, owing to pressure of engagements, although he had no intention of severing his connection with the activities of the Guild. Many tributes were paid to the efficiency of Mr. Snow's services for many years, and it was resolved to record in the minutes the enthusiastic vote of thanks accorded to him.
Mr. H. James, of Carisbrooke tower, was elected to succeed Mr. Snow, who promised his assistance.
Mr. H. A. Phillips was re-elected hon. auditor, and Mr. H. Barton as district representative to the Guild Committee.
Godshill was selected for the next annual meeting, and the quarterly meeting was fixed for April 27th at Ryde, with a by-practice at Brading.
On the motion of Mr. F. Mew, thanks were accorded the Rev. R. L. C. Newhouse for taking the service and for his interest in the Guild.
The meeting resolved to write to the Vicar of St. Catherine's, Ventnor, promising the wholehearted support of the district in the event of a decision to place a peal of bells in the tower of that church.
A grant of a guinea was made from the district funds to the Godshill bells restoration fund.
The Ringing World No. 1246, February 8th, 1935, page 92