As I write this, I realise that we are already over half-way through the Guild year, since the last AGM, and the plans for the 2020 AGM are already well underway. Having taken over from Heather Frazer as Guild Secretary I would like to take this opportunity to thank Heather both for what was a very efficiently organised hand-over and for her service to the Guild. I now know just how much work is involved - and that is without the additional work of the WW1 Centenary commemoration, so thank you Heather, you did a fantastic job.
In May we commemorated the Centenary of the ending of the Great War and those who had fallen in the Great War with two services; at Portsmouth Cathedral on 12th May and Winchester Cathedral on 19th May. Though quite different in style, both services were moving, thought-provoking and also well attended. For me personally, the presentation of the records was the most moving part, preceded by the ringing of handbells. At Winchester, we were fortunate enough to have the Charmborough mini-ring which generated a lot of interest from the general public, and quite a few people were interested enough to pass on their contact details to us. I would like to express my personal thanks to all those involved in this huge effort in commemorating the ending of the Great War and the considerable effort that went into producing the records of performances. Performances for the WW1 Centenary are still taking place these performances are being recorded in the digital archive.
Another success story for the Guild was the “Firsts Fortnight” held between 11th October and 1st November 2019. In all 73 performances were recorded on Bellboard and later published in the Ringing World. The performances were varied. There were even a few “first” performances on handbells. As a keen handbell ringer myself, I am especially pleased about this and hope that as a Guild we can steadily increase the number of those who ring handbells.