Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild
of Church Bell Ringers
Minutes of the Annual District Meeting held on Saturday 11th February 2017 in the Parish Church of All Saints’, Barton Stacey
1. Chairman’s Welcome. The Chairman, John Croft, opened the meeting at 5.20 p.m., with a welcome to those present, including visitors, and with thanks to the Barton Stacey and Wonston Bands for hosting the day and to Nicola Plummer and her helpers for laying on a splendid ringers’ tea [applause], to the Revds Paul Bradish and Mark Bailey for the use of their bells, and the latter for leading the service, and to Alec Fry for playing the organ at the service [applause].
2. Attendance. The following 28 members of the District (representing eleven bands and unattached), and two guests signed the attendance register and/or were present at the meeting, as follows, with the names of those present but not signatories in italics:- Wendy Harris and Nicola Plummer (both of Barton Stacey), Christine and Peter Hill, Tessa and Tony Smith, Pam and Richard Thompson (all of Hursley), Sue Spurling (King’s Somborne), Jonathan Smith (Kings Worthy), Carol Higgins (Lockerley), Alec Fry, Andrew and Elizabeth Johnson, Tony Stirling (all of New Alresford), Caroline and Martin Daniels, Jennifer and Nigel Herriott (all of Romsey), Rodney Skinner (Ropley), Jenny Watson (Sparsholt), John Colliss and Bruce Purvis (both of Winchester Cathedral), Paul Fitzgerald and Christine Knights-Whittome (both of Wonston), John and Joyce Croft, and Edmund Wratten (all unattached); Charlotte Colliss, Charlotte Smith and Mike Winterbourne (Guild Master) comprising the guests.
3. Apologies for absence. Apologies for absence were received from Amanda Bayford, Judy Bishop, Nick Bucknall, Philip Carter, Jen Churchill, Colin Cook, Gerry Cornick, Jacquie and John Downham, John Gawne-Cain, Andrew Glover, Maureen Hanney, the Headbourne Worthy band en bloc, Valerie Keel, John and Bren Palk, and the remainder of the Lockerley and East Tytherley band.
4. Minutes of the Previous Meeting. Adoption as a true record of the minutes of the Quarterly District Meeting held on 12 November at Bishopstoke was proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Andrew Johnson and carried on a show of hands.
5. Matters Arising. Other than as Agenda items, there were no matters arising.
6. Confirmation of belfry elections.
Julian N Ferrar of Melksham and George E Wyatt of Portishead prior to a peal at St Anne, Alderney, on 10 December 2016 proposed by Roy LeMarechal, seconded by Graham Wright.
Thomas J Waterson of Exeter prior to a peal at Bramford, Suffolk, on 19 December 2016 proposed by Christine Hill, seconded by Peter Hill.
Robert Love of North Stoneham on 24 January 2017 proposed by Phil Nicholls, seconded by Stephanie Nicholls.
Lucy A Hutton of New Alresford on 3 February 2017 proposed by Ian Redway, seconded by Elizabeth Johnson.
Rita Bibbo of Candover Valley on 6 February 2017 proposed by Peter Willis, seconded by Alison Fydler.
7a. Election of new ringing members.
Derek Stewart of Hursley proposed by Tony Smith, seconded by Christine Hill.
Anthony Stirling of New Alresford proposed by Ian Redway, seconded by Elizabeth Johnson.
Paul Burnage, Jenny Harding and Charles Slatter of Romsey proposed by Caroline Daniels, seconded by Andrew Glover.
Peter Wild of Twyford proposed by Angela Forder-Stent, seconded by Andrew Johnson.
Megan Bucknall, Bevis Clarke Smith and Jean Whewell of Winchester Cathedral proposed by Nick Bucknall, seconded by Bruce Purvis.
Gary Marsh and Sara Marsh of Wonston proposed by Paul Fitzgerald, seconded by Christine Knights-Whittome.
7b. Election of new associate member.
Erica Wheeler of Headbourne Worthy proposed by Colin Child, seconded by Martin Macpherson.
7c. Certificate. A certificate and badge were handed to Jenny Watson, for Keith Bartle (Sparsholt).
8. Loss of members through death. None notified.
9. Officers’ Reports. Secretary’s and Ringing Masters’ Reports: The content of the Ringing Masters’ reports had been incorporated into the secretary’s report. Subject to the inclusion of a true figure for the total membership of the District, the addition of the phrase ‘at Northington’ to the last line of the first paragraph, and the substitution of ‘fourth’ for ‘last’ in the eighth line of the fourth paragraph, adoption of his report was proposed by Elizabeth Johnson and seconded by Pam Thompson. Treasurer’s Report and accounts: Andrew Johnson enquired about a loan to the Guild: the treasurer replied that this had long since been repaid. Andrew enquired about the balances due to the Guild and the BRF: the treasurer replied that these sums were in respect of subscriptions paid to the District last year, and that only once the accounts were passed by the AGM could the balances due be paid to the Guild and the BRF. The accounts, as usual carefully examined by John Colliss, were proposed by Tony Smith and seconded by Bruce Purvis. Both reports were adopted on a show of hands.
10. Election of Officers. The chairman, in standing down prior to the election, took the opportunity to thank his fellow officers for their guidance and support in the year to date, and hoped that if elected he would continue to enjoy their support for the coming year. 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 and other sitting officers were likewise willing to stand for office for 2017,and John Colliss was willing to continue as Independent Examiner of the accounts. The offices were filled as follows:-
Chairman: John Croft, proposed by Edmund Wratten, seconded by Nigel Herriott;
Secretary: Bruce Purvis, proposed by Elizabeth Johnson, seconded by Caroline Daniels;
Treasurer: Tony Smith, proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Martin Daniels;
Ringing Masters: Edmund Wratten, proposed by John Croft, seconded by Bruce Purvis;
Joint Ringing Master: Jenny Watson, proposed by John Croft, seconded by Elizabeth Johnson;
Executive Committee Representative: John Croft, proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Nigel Herriott
Independent Examiner of Accounts: John Colliss, proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Martin Daniels;
Webmaster: Andrew Glover, proposed Nigel Herriott, seconded by Bruce Purvis; Newsletter Editor: John Palk, proposed by Joyce Croft, seconded by John Croft;
all elected on a show of hands.
11. Future Events. The secretary explained that time constraints had prevented him from drafting an programme for the coming year, and from calling a meeting to firm up the programme. He advised the meeting that he proposed to continue with the quarterly meetings following the existing format, and to supplement these with regular – ideally monthly – practices around the district to support the progress of chosen towers, and with training sessions (a) on Saturday mornings, as that time seemed to suit most people and (b) concentrating on the basics – raising and lowering, call-changing and basic methods on 5/6 bells, reserving the November quarterly meeting for more advanced topics. He proposed to arrange an outing to the Christchurch/East Dorset area, and assured the meeting that arranging the year’s programme was an early and high priority. He was thanked for these proposals.
12. Romsey Show. In introducing this item – and summarising the key points of John Palk’s paper on the reverse of the Agenda – the secretary advised the meeting that the idea for the District having a presence at next September’s Romsey Show had come from the Show’s organisers, in particular because the Show would be celebrating its 175th anniversary; also that the requested budget of £40 was to cover contingencies only: in all likelihood there would be no need of this much money.
Discussion began with Nigel Herriott’s question from the floor as to “what was [there] in [pitching at the Romsey Show] for us?” Responses centred on the publicity value, and the need to showcase ringing. Peter Hill added that there was a cost – in Graham’s time and inconvenience – in getting the mini-ring to the show – or to someone who could take the ring to the show, and we should be duly grateful and offer a tangible expression of our gratitude – “a bottle of Scotch at the very least”. Martin Daniels pointed out that our stall was a notable attraction, but it needed more people to help throughout the day; also if we could ring a longish touch, “say, half an hour” at some point, people would realise that ringing was a distinctive performance art. Elizabeth Johnson argued that we should “carry on” with running the pitch. Costs were discussed: the first year had cost £57, and last year had cost nothing: Tony Smith proposed a budget of £100, seconded by Bruce Purvis, and carried on a show of hands.
13. Guild Striking Competitions. The Chairman reminded the meeting that the Guild Inter-Tower competitions (6- and 8-bell) would take place on Saturday 20 May, and the Guild Inter-District competition would take place on the morning of the AGM on 17 June. Nigel Herriott enquired about the District competition – as there had been some doubt expressed whether it would continue. The secretary advised that both method and call-change competitions had taken place at the May quarterly, and had been keenly contested.
14. Guild Master. The Guild Master, Mike Winterbourne, had the following points to make to the meeting.
• A new W&P 200 Club had been launched, to support the work of the Guild Training and Development Fund: Mike had application forms to hand, or they could be downloaded from the Guild website.
• There were plans to hold two ringers’ services in 2019 to mark the centenary of the end of the Great War at the cathedrals in Portsmouth and Winchester, which we should be aware of and prepare for.
• Rachel Anderson was researching and recording all and any ringing to mark World War One, and we were urged that whatever we rang – from 100 chimes up to peals – we submit the event to Bellboard and add a link to the W&P WW1 record.
• Mike noticed that we were as a District keeping very busy, and he applauded our efforts.
• Finally, Mike thanked everyone working for the district, whether at tower or district level, for our role and our efforts: to “[all of] you who make the Guild as good as it is” [applause].
15. Any Other Business.
1. Carol Service. Elizabeth Johnson remarked that the District Carol Service at Cheriton had been “most enjoyable”.
2. Guild monogrammed leisurewear. Christine Knights-Whittome reminded the meeting that owing to continued demand there was a second opportunity to order sweatshirts and polo shirts bearing the Guild logo, and, as before, the chance to have garments embroidered with the logo.
3. Guild Subscriptions. Tony Smith thanked the fifteen towers who had already paid their Guild subscriptions, leaving only ten towers outstanding.
4. Ropley. In reply to a question from the Chair, Rodney Skinner advised the meeting that a faculty for the rebuilding of the tower at Ropley had been referred to the Diocesan Advisory Committee, and that as long as they did not delay in their consideration of the faculty, work might begin on the rebuilding project towards the end of this year. The bells were presently in store: the fifth would need recasting and the third and fourth might be repairable by welding.
5. Bell Restoration Fund. The collection for the Bell Restoration fund raised £15.50.
The meeting closed at 6.02 p.m. and was followed by a short spell of open ringing.