Provisional Minutes of the 2016 AGM of the Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers

1.      Master’s welcome

The Guild Master – Viv Nobbs, supported by Vice-Master – Christine Hill, Hon. Gen. Secretary – Mo Routh, Hon. Gen. Treasurer – Mike Bubb and Minute Secretary – Tony Smith, opened the meeting at 3 p.m. The Master welcomed all present, introduced the top table and thanked the Winchester District for hosting the event, Elizabeth Johnson and her team for providing refreshments, the incumbents and tower captains for the use of their bells, Sue Armstrong for taking the service and Gary Davies for playing the organ. She said a short prayer to open the meeting.

2.      Striking Competition results

Paul and Kate Flavell had judged the Inter-District 8-bell Striking Competition at New Alresford that morning. The following results had been announced and certificates presented to the team captains.

Position District Method Score Peal Speed Drawn
1st Portsmouth Grandsire Triples 89% 3h2 3rd
2nd Winchester Cambridge Surprise Major 84% 3h8 1st
3rd Christchurch & Southampton Grandsire Triples 82% 3h7 4th
4th Andover Grandsire Triples 75% 3h2 2nd

Greg Jordan said that next year’s Inter-Tower 6-bell and 8-bell striking competitions would be on 20 May and the Inter-District 8-bell striking competition would be on the morning of the AGM on 17 June. Peter Niblett said they would be contacting District Ringing Masters to find out how much interest there was in an Inter-District 10-bell striking competition.

3. Apologies for Absence and Members Present

The following 61 members and one guest signed the attendance book: Lynne, Greg & Pete Jordan, and Peter Rowe (St. Michael, Basingstoke), Robert Hatch (Botley), Ros Brandwood (Burghclere), Helene & Ron Tipper (Buriton), Graham Nobbs (Carisbrooke), Rachel Anderson and Mary Floyd (Chale) Maggie Eltham (Compton), Robin Milford (Curdridge), Charlotte Lloyd (Froxfield), Christine Hill, Chris & Ian McCallion, and Tessa & Tony Smith (Hursley), Gary Davies, Carol Higgins, John Palk and Mark Warner (Lockerley), Nikki Brown and Francis Mitchell (Netley), Piers Armstrong, Alec Fry, Elizabeth & Andrew Johnson, and Ian Redway (New Alresford), Jeff Ford (Newnham), Phil Watts (North Stoneham), Alan Hoar (Odiham), Robin Winckworth (Petersfield), Sarah Hutchinson and David Mattingley (Portsmouth Cathedral), Allan Yalden (Purbrook), John Davey (Ringwood), Rodney Skinner (Ropley), Deb Baker, Martin Barnes and Nici Giles (Rotherwick & Heckfield), Viv Nobbs (Ryde), Betty Daysh and Matthew Wilks (Shedfield), Mary Tester (Shorwell), Barry Fry (Southampton), Mo & Hugh Routh (Steep), Charlotte Colliss (Swanmore), Margaret & Mike Winterbourne (Tangley), Lucy & Michael Church (Upton Grey), Michael Bubb (Vale), Peter Niblett (Whitchurch), John Colliss and Bruce Purvis (Winchester Cathedral), Christine Knights-Whittome (Wonston), Joyce and John Croft (unattached) and Alan Bentley (guest).

Apologies for absence had been received from Barbara Townsend (Andover), Louise Wodehouse (Goodworth Clatford), Bren Palk (Lockerley), Mary Sterry (Lyndhurst), Polly Osborne (Minstead), Madeline King (Petersfield), Jill Taylor (Ryde), Liz Thornton and Chris Caryer (St. Mary Bourne), Edd Colliss (Swanmore), and Alan Buswell (unattached). Further apologies were received from Julia & Peter Clarke (Bishopstoke), Carol Herring (Candover Valley), Rosalind Martin (Christchurch), Judy Bishop (Easton), Roger Liscoe (Hinton Admiral), Trish Spink (Hursley), Jen Churchill (Lockerley), Stephanie & Phil Nicholls (North Stoneham), and Nick Bucknall and Colin Cook (Winchester Cathedral).

4.      Loss of Members from death since the 2015 AGM

The meeting stood to remember: Len Barham (All Saints, Alton), Andrew Barnsdale (unattached), Roy Grayson (Purbrook), Roy Howard (Freshwater), Simon Lipscombe-Smith (Ecchinswell), Marjorie Mannering (Buriton), Tom Metcalfe (Blackmoor), Colin Nicholson (first Tower Captain at St Peter Port), Jeanette Palmer (Netley), Martin Routh (former Tower Captain at Amport), Ramon A Stone (LM) (West Meon), Bernard Tilyard (Whitwell), Keith Williamson (formerly of Liss), and David Yates (Arreton). Barry Fry said a prayer.

5.      Minutes of the 2015 AGM

The minutes of the 2015 AGM at Curdridge were adopted on the proposition of John Davey, seconded by Robin Milford, and signed by the Master as a true record.

6.      Matters arising

There were no matters arising.

7.      Life Membership

i) John Croft (unattached), Alan Hoar (Odiham), Maureen Routh (Steep) and Ronald Tipper (Buriton) had completed fifty years’ ringing membership of the Guild and the Master presented them with their life membership certificates.

ii) On behalf of the Executive Committee the Master proposed, and the Vice-Master seconded, Mike Bubb and Tony Smith for election to life membership in recognition of their exceptional services to the Guild. The Master added her personal thanks for their support during the past three years in her role as Guild Master.

Mike has been a Guild member since 1976 and served as the first Channel Islands District Chairman for 3 years. He has been Tower Captain at Vale for many years and rung nearly 1000 quarter peals. He has served as Hon. Gen. Treasurer, one of the principal Guild Officers, since 1986, so completing 30 years’ service and, despite living on Guernsey, has missed only one Guild AGM and one Executive Committee meeting. As Hon. Gen. Treasurer he has been ex officio a Trustee of the Guild Bell Restoration Fund and has acted as the Chairman of the Trustees.

Tony has been a Guild member since 1970 and has served his tower, Hursley, and the Winchester District in all the principle roles over the intervening years. He has served on the Executive Committee from 1972-4 and since 1980, was an instructor at the first Guild Ringing School in 1974 and for the following 7 years, served on the Ringing School/Education Committee for 6 years, CC Representative since 1981, Hon. Report Editor for 7 years, Hon. Librarian and Archivist for 3 years, CC2016 Organising Committee for 5 years, Minute Secretary since 2013. He has rung 447 peals for the Guild and created and maintains a collection of compositions rung for the Guild (currently over 1,750 compositions) and other archive material. On the Central Council he served on the Methods Committee for over 27 years, 23 years as Chairman, and created and maintains the method collections (currently over 19,400 methods). He has served on the Administrative Committee since 1985, was Vice-President 2005-08 and President 2008-11.

The motion was carried nem. con. and the Master presented Mike and Tony with their life membership certificates.

8.      Officers’ and Committee Reports for 2015

In answer to a question from Andrew Johnson, Tony Smith confirmed that it had been a policy decision to no longer publish compositions in the Annual Report. There were no other comments and the reports were adopted en bloc on the proposition of Bruce Purvis, seconded by John Davey.

9.      Bell Restoration Fund

          i.     Trustees’ Report and Accounts for 2015

There were no comments on the Report and Accounts.

          ii.    Grant proposals

David Mattingley reported that the Trustees had received three applications for grants: St. Stephen’s, Baughurst for refurbishment of the clappers of the front three bells and the tenor, costing £958 of which £750 had been raised; St. Mary’s, Breamore for an overhaul including repainting the frame, costing £9374 of which £8695 had been raised; St. Andrew’s, Sherborne St. John for refurbishment of the clappers of the front four bells and a new timber shaft clapper on the tenor, costing £1503 of which £900 had been raised; The Trustees recommended grants of £200 to Baughurst, £400 to Breamore and £300 to Sherborne St. John, which were approved on the proposition of David Mattingley, seconded by John Davey.

1.      Report of 2016 Central Council Meeting

  1. David Mattingley mentioned some highlights of the meeting in Portsmouth: the creation of a Working Group to undertake a detailed review of the rules and activities of the Council; the introduction of advance nominations for committee members; some relaxation of the Decisions on compliant peals including a greater variety of lengths for Doubles, Minor and Triples peals, and handbell peals of Minimus; and the resignation of the Ringing Trends Committeeen bloc. The Master noted Peter Niblett’s work on the Methods Committee and said the changes to the Decisions appeared to be well-received. [The 1 July 2016 issue of The Ringing World contained Part 1 of the Editor’s customary overview and the detailed minutes would be published in due course.]
  2. As chairman of the CC 2016 organising committee, the Vice-Master said there had been reports inThe Ringing World and on the Guild website. The arrangements had included 21 towers open, including 3 on the Isle of Wight, a Social Evening, Dinner, Lunch, committee meetings, and the AGMs of the Council and the Ringing World Ltd. The W&P had been widely acknowledged as a welcoming and efficient host. The Master had used the weekend as an opportunity for public relations initiatives and there had been features in Pompey Chimes and on Radio Solent, Isle of Wight Radio and Premier Christian Radio. The Vice-Master thanked all those who had helped including the committee, Michael Church, Charlotte Colliss, Mo Routh, and Tessa and Tony Smith; David Mattingley who organised 280 pints of real ale; Claire Partridge for designing the brochure; John Davey and Robin Wilson for the photographs in the RW Calendar; and Rosalind Martin for information on the Guild website. The aim had been to break even but in the event a surplus had been generated and the Executive Committee would consider how it should be used. The Master added her thanks to all concerned.

11.      Election of Officers for the next three years

                                i.            Guild Master

Mike Winterbourne proposed by Andy Ingram and seconded by Tim Pink. At the new Master’s request, the retiring Master chaired the remainder of the meeting.

                              ii.            Guild Vice-Master

Pete Jordan proposed by Nici Collins and seconded by Jon Soar.

                            iii.            Honorary General Secretary

There were no nominations. Maureen Routh offered to continue in the rôle on an informal basis until the November Executive Committee meeting when the vacancy could be filled.

                            iv.            Honorary General Treasurer

Rosalind Brandwood proposed by Mike Winterborne and seconded by Peter Niblett.

                              v.            Minute Secretary

Tony Smith proposed by Maureen Routh and seconded by Mike Winterborne.

                            vi.            Honorary Librarian and Archivist

Bruce Purvis proposed by Barry Fry and seconded by John Croft.

                          vii.            Honorary Peal Recorder

Edd Colliss proposed by Tony Smith and seconded by David Mattingley.

                        viii.            Honorary Report Editor

John Palk proposed by Phil Watts and seconded by John Davey.

                            ix.            Central Council Representatives (for the triennium commencing on 29 May 2017)

Michael Church proposed by Mike Bubb seconded by Barry Fry, Andrew Johnson proposed by David Mattingley seconded by Elizabeth Johnson, David Mattingley proposed by Sarah Hutchinson seconded by Barry Fry, Peter Niblett proposed by Ros Brandwood seconded by Andrew Johnson, Allan Yalden proposed by David Mattingley seconded by Sarah Hutchinson.

                              x.            Child Protection Officer

John Davey proposed by Barry Fry and seconded by Bruce Purvis.

                            xi.            Public Relations Officer

Viv Nobbs proposed by Phil Watts and seconded by Tony Smith.

                          xii.            Independent Examiner

Peter Clarke proposed by Mike Bubb and seconded by John Davey.

                        xiii.            BRF Trustees

David Mattingley proposed as the Portsmouth Diocese Trustee by Sarah Hutchinson and seconded by Allan Yalden.

Barry Fry proposed as the Winchester Diocese Trustee by Christine Hill and seconded by Pete Jordan.

12. The retiring Master invested the new Master with the Master’s Badge.

13.      Guild Action Plan

A paper had been distributed and was available on the Guild website. There were no questions.

14.      Future Guild Events

24 August 2016 Young Ringers’ Day with the Salisbury Diocesan Guild
24 September 2016 District Officers’ Forum St. Barnabas’ Church Hall, Southampton
12 November 2016 Executive Committee Meeting St. Barnabas’ Church Hall, Southampton
26 November 2016 Informal Social Event To be arranged
11-12 March 2017 ART Annual Conference Old Basing Hall, Basingstoke

15.      Date and place of 2017 AGM

This would be held on Saturday 17 June 2017 in the Christchurch & Southampton District.

16.      Any other business

  1. Robin Milford spoke of his plans for another W&P 200 Club similar to that run by Mark Esbester but to raise money for training and retention rather than bell restoration. Robin would be pleased to hear from anyone interested in joining or having questions. Like the W&P 200 Club run by Mark the new Club would be a private members’ club separate from the Guild. Consideration could be given to the setting up a separate Guild fund for supporting the development of ringers and into which payments from the Club could be made.
  2. The retiring Master said a summary of quarter peals rung in Guild towers between 1960 and 2014 had been prepared by Alan Buswell and would be passed to the Hon. Librarian and Archivist.
  3. Ian McCallion thought that the Guild ought to clarify its intentions with respect to “soft” projects, by opening a Charitable Fund for “soft” projects before encouraging or advertising or allowing AGM time for promoting a particular private fund-raising activity such as the W&P 200 Club. As to the terms of reference and charitable aims for the Charitable Fund, he thought that was a matter for the Executive Committee to discuss and make a proposal to present to the Guild. Michael Church emphasised the need for a clear relationship between the Club and the Guild.
  4. Francis Mitchell was selling jars of jam to raise money for the rehanging of Netley bells.
  5. The new Master thanked all retiring officers for their work.

There being no further business, the retiring Master closed the meeting at 4.17 p.m.

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