Minutes of the Annual District Meeting held on Saturday 14th February 2015 in the John Pearson Hall, Parish Church of St John the Baptist, New Alresford
The meeting started at 6.03 p.m., with 32 members of the District from twelve towers and unattached, and ten guests present, as follows:- Graham Wright (Bishopstoke), Judy Bishop (Easton), Christine and Ian McCallion, Tessa and Tony Smith, Pam and Richard Thompson (all of Hursley), Sue Spurling (King’s Somborne), Jen Churchill, Gary Davies, Carol Higgins, Bradley Lewis, Bren and John Palk (all of Lockerley), Andrew, Elizabeth and Theo Johnson, Ian Redway (all of New Alresford), Phil Watts (North Stoneham), Mike Hayward (Romsey), Jenny Watson (Sparsholt), John Colliss, Jackie and John Downham, John Gawne-Cain, Bruce Purvis (all of Winchester Cathedral), Tony Ayres (Winchester
College), Christine Knights-Whittome (Wonston), John and Joyce Croft, Edmund Wratten (all unattached); Alan Buswell, the Revd Phil Collins, Charlotte and Edd Colliss, Julia and Susanna Johnson, Graham and Viv Nobbs (Guild Master), Barbara and Derek Yates comprising the guests.
The Chairman, John Palk, opened the meeting with a welcome to those present, including visitors, and with thanks to Elizabeth [Johnson] and the New Alresford Band for hosting the day and for laying on a splendid ringers’ tea, to the rector, the Revd Phil Collins for the use of the bells and leading the service, at which he ‘spoke as though he was a ringer’ and to Gary Davies for playing the organ at the service.
Loss of Members through Death in 2014. The recent death of Jacquie Redway (on 16 January) was noted with sadness, and the fact that about a dozen long touches had been rung in Jacquie’s memory (including a peal at Awbridge and another on handbells, and quarters at Lockerley, New Alresford and Sparsholt). The Secretary also reminded the meeting of the death of Pam Bridger on 6 February 2014: their passing had been remembered in prayer during the service.
Apologies for absence. Apologies for absence were received from Amanda Bayford, Gerry Cornick, Caroline and Martin Daniels, Andrew Glover, Christine, Katie, Peter and Rosemary Hill, Hugh Hill, Kathryn McGregor, Rosemary
Oakeshott, Bren Palk and Joy Scanlan.
Minutes of the Previous Meeting. The minutes of the Quarterly District Meeting held on 8 November at Sherfield English were adopted on a show of hands.
Matters Arising. There were no matters arising from the above-mentioned minutes.
Confirmation of belfry elections.
George Corfield and Stephanie Hodnett of New Alresford on 14 January 2015 proposed by Rodney Skinner, seconded by Elizabeth Johnson.
Rory A Benton, Christopher N Berry, Amanda Bruzon, Alexander S M Davies, Henry O Rodgers, Inigo A D Selwood and Pan Siripark of Winchester College on 16 January 2015 proposed by Hugh Hill, seconded by Lucy Hopkins Till.
Jacob Spence of Winchester College on 16 January 2015 proposed by Martin Kelly, seconded by Hugh Hill.
Richard Burnett-Hall, Lisa Howe, Royden Roche and Sue Welch of Broughton on 19 January 2015 proposed by Bob Gosse, seconded by Mike Hayward.
Lin Russell and Andy Tan of Easton on 22 January 2015 proposed by Judy Bishop, seconded by Sara Janssen.
Marion Daniell of Winchester Cathedral on 11 February 2015 proposed by Mike Hopkins Till, seconded by Bruce Purvis.
Nicola Frances and Jean Whewell of Winchester Cathedral on 11 February 2015 proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Nick Bucknall.
Election of new members.
John Boggis of Broughton proposed by Bob Gosse, seconded by John Palk.
Arthur Jarrett of Broughton proposed by Nick Jarrett, seconded by Mike Hayward.
Freya Bennett and Imogen Breen of Crawley proposed by Edmund Wratten, seconded by Amanda Bayford.
Jenifer A E Smith of Hursley [re-election] proposed by Christine Hill, seconded by Tony Smith.
Sue Holligan, David St John and Heidi Whitehead of King’s Somborne proposed by Sue Spurling, seconded by Ron White.
Alex Cairns of Lockerley and East Tytherley proposed by Gary Davies, seconded by Jen Churchill.
Piers Armstrong of New Alresford proposed by Rodney Skinner, seconded by Elizabeth Johnson.
Jilly Williams of Old Alresford proposed by Heather Galley, seconded by Elizabeth Johnson.
Andrew Nicol, Martin Willson and Rhoda Willson of Romsey proposed by Andrew Glover, seconded by Caroline Daniels.
Wendy Trice of Sherfield English proposed by Caroline Daniels, seconded by Heather Harris.
Adam Gawne-Cain and Kai Gawne-Cain of Sparsholt proposed by Jenny Watson, seconded by John Cleverley.
Charlotte L Rimmington and Helen C Vincent of West Tytherley proposed by Jen Churchill, seconded by Anne Strong.
Kate Nye of Winchester Cathedral proposed by Nick Bucknall, seconded by Bruce Purvis.
Michael J Turner of Winchester College proposed by Hugh Hill, seconded by Martin Kelly.
The above 19 probationary members confirmed and 21 full members elected on a show of hands.
Officers’ Reports. Treasurer’s Report and accounts: The accounts, as usual carefully examined by John Colliss, were proposed by Tony Smith, seconded by Bruce Purvis.
Secretary’s Report: Adoption of the Secretary’s report was proposed by John Croft, seconded by Elizabeth Johnson; both adopted on a show of hands. There was no report by the Ringing Master.
Election of Officers.
The chairman gave notice that he was prepared to serve a further year’s term in the knowledge that there would be a potential successor prepared to offer his candidacy in 2016. The treasurer was happy to continue in post, though he ‘would not be offended if anyone else wished to take over as treasurer’; the secretary was likewise willing to stand for his office for 2015. The chairman reminded the meeting that the ringing mastership had been in sole occupancy in 2014, and ideally there should be two ringing masters. John Colliss was willing to continue as Independent Examiner of the accounts.
Chairman: John Palk, proposed by Elizabeth Johnson, seconded by another;
Secretary: Bruce Purvis, proposed by John Palk, seconded by John Croft;
Treasurer: Tony Smith, proposed by John Palk, seconded by Mike Hayward;
Ringing Master: Edmund Wratten, proposed by John Palk, seconded by Judy Bishop; Joint Ringing Master: Jenny Watson, proposed by Jacquie Downham, seconded by Sue Spurling
Executive Committee Representative: With no nominations the post remained vacant, subject to co-option in the future.
Independent Examiner of Accounts: John Colliss, proposed by John Palk, seconded by Bruce Purvis; all elected on a show of hands.(i)
The following events were planned:
9 March: District Practice, Preston Candover;
16 April: Training, Raising and lowering, Easton;
9 May: QDM and Striking Contests,King’s Somborne;
6 June: Training afternoon, Twyford;
13 June: Tower Reps’Meeting, Winchester;
11 July: Training afternoon, Call Changes, Cheriton;
8 August, QDM and Walk Micheldever and Wonston;
late August/Early September: Young Ringers’ Outing (ii);
2 September: District practice, Winchester;
12 September: training Evening, Conducting, Houghton;
17 October: District Outing, Christchurch area;
17 October-1 November: Peal and Quarter-Peal Fortnight;
7 November: QDM and Education Day, Stedman, Hursley;
5 December: Carol Service, King’s Worthy;
12 January: District Practice, North Stoneham;
13 February: ADM, Romsey.
All events up to June were confirmed, as were the District Practice at the Cathedral and the training session at Houghton, both in September, the Quarterly in November and the 2016 ADM at Romsey.
(ii) The Young Ringers’ Outing was subject to arrangement nearer the date.
Guild Striking Competitions.
The chairman reminded the meeting of the dates for the Guild striking competitions, viz.:the inter-tower six- and eight-bell competitions on 18 April, the inter-district eight-bell competition in the morning of the AGM on 4 July at Shedfield, and the inter-district ten-bell competition on 26 September.
Viv Nobbs opened her slot on the agenda with some reminders:
21 March, Education Day on Plain Hunting and ringing the Treble to Doubles;
31 March, Education Evening on Handbell Ringing; Striking Competitions – ‘think about whether you can field a team as a tower or from the district’.
Her main theme was ‘Improving the Long-Term Health of the Exercise’, for which she had ten pointers for action, as follows:-
1. The focus has to be on recruitment and retention – and, as regards the latter, how we can ensure that ringing is fun.
2. The need for effective leadership in towers.
3. The need for towers to provide a warm welcome to visitors, whether ringers or not.
4. Towers can strengthen local support at the sub-district level by banding into groups (e.g. based on multi-parish benefices).
5. The need to be mindful of best practice (e.g. best-kept tower initiatives/health and safety, teaching format and the ITTS).
6. The need for good local communications (newsletters, websites, email user groups, Facebook, Twitter, blogs).
7. The need to give learners more ringing time – the old style of 5-10 minutes handling and/or rounds in a 90-minute practice just won’t ‘cut it’ these days – maybe we should even consider having a second, learners-only, practice to push the learners along.
8. The need to improve/enhance/extend the public face of ringing: one example might be to set up mini-rings at county/agricultural shows, the Great Dorset Steam Fair, etc.
9. The need to engage the Church – get the Youth Club and/or the (affiliated)Scout and Guide groups involved.
10. Invest in Training!
Viv reminded us that the 300th Anniversary of the first ever peal would fall on 2nd May this year, and remarked what an achievement it would be if we could, in 2015, have 300 people in the Guild score their first peal to mark the anniversary year, and exhorted us to think what we could do to get 300 first pealers.
Viv also gave the meeting advance warning that the following morning, Sunday 15th, Radio Solent would broadcast and interview including ‘our own’ Simon King, the new Portsmouth District Secretary, and Chris Mew, CC President – 7.30 a.m.
Last but not least was Viv’s “Master’s Madness”, when, at 5 p.m. on 2 May she intended to abseil down the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, to raise funds to be split equally between two very worthy local causes: St Peter’s, Ropley and the Ecchinswell Bell Restoration Project.
Any other business.
W&P 200 Club. An enquiry was taken from the floor regarding the current state of the W&P 200 Club. The treasurer replied that to the best of his knowledge no draws had taken place for some time.
New Guild Directory. The treasurer advised that the new District directory would be published in May; meanwhile if needed, there were still copies of the May 2014 directory.
Conference of Diocesan Advisory Committee Bell Advisers. Phil Watts advised the meeting that this year’s annual conference of DAC Bell Advisers was to be held in the District on Friday 3 July. There were two points for consideration: firstly, that the Conference was open to all, subject to a registration fee, and anyone with an interest in the work of the DACs and the role of its bell advisers was welcome to attend; secondly that caterers would be needed for the provision of teas and coffees for an anticipated sixty delegates, and if the district or any tower or group wished to volunteer, there would be a good opportunity for some fundraising.
Ropley. Alan Buswell advised the meeting that one consequence of the fire at Ropley was the destruction of all the Tower’s records, and he was engaged in compiling a new set of archival records – of the membership of the tower since its affiliation to the Guild, of the 300-odd peals and quarters rung there, and of the bells and frame. He had for inspection a first draft of the historical record of the tower.
Beyond Bob Doubles. Edmund gave notice of the next “Beyond Bob Doubles” evening – Barton Stacey on Wednesday 25 February 2015.
The collection for the Bell Restoration Fund raised £29.23.
The meeting closed at 6.44 p.m.
(i) By an oversight the office of Web Master was not placed for election before the meeting. Andrew Glover, Web Master during 2014 has indicated his willingness to continue in post and has therefore been co-opted.
(ii) The list of forthcoming dates included some errors of fact and of typography: the one which was noted at the meeting – that of the 2016 ADM – has since been resolved by correspondence and the dates now listed are ‘as if’ they had been correctly presented on 14th February. The training session at Houghton will have to be rearranged as the timetable for the installation of the new six has been put back.