Dear Friends!

When you get around to reading this it will be nearly a year since I nodded my head at the wrong time.  I feel privileged to have taken on the role after a very organised team had put in place a forward-looking action plan and the working groups had begun to make inroads into the tasks set out in the Action Plan.  To all the previous team and working groups I would like to give a large vote of thanks.  Also thank you to those who have continued in their posts.)

This year saw a change of most of the senior posts.  A special thank you to those who made the change of personnel seamless by supporting the new post holders with their great depth of knowledge and their good will.

Following the excellent organisation of the Central Council meeting, the team has also supported the ART AGM which was based in Basingstoke. The team delivered excellent support to ART and the winners of The Sarah Beacham School Group Award stayed in the Guild having been won by Elizabeth College, Guernsey.

I would like to thank all those individuals who support their own towers by acting as Tower Captains, Tower Correspondents, Door Unlockers, Key Holders, Rope Splicers, Organisers of the wedding ringers, Social Secretaries, Steeple-keepers and all those small and sometimes overlooked jobs that keep our guild towers running.  Without these important individuals, there would not be any bells rung.

The various committees and working groups continue to work diligently and would be delighted to receive even more support in the coming year.  All your skills, great and small, would be appreciated.

I am excited by the number of young ringers developing their skills especially the groups in the more isolated areas of the Channel Islands, Isle of Wight and the New Forest. I am sure there are other young ringers in the Guild; please let your District Ringing Masters know you exist and they might be able to organise young ringers’ practices.

On occasion, I have heard that some members feel that the Guild is failing to let members know what is going on; this was never our intention.  It can be difficult to find a balance between keeping members informed of all possible plans and raising unattainable expectations.  We are continuing to work on ways of keeping every member informed and the Guild website and Guild Facebook pages are excellent places to keep up to date.

I am looking forward to an interesting second year and believe that the tasks ahead, although not straightforward, will be achievable.

I have a passion for quotes so;

The greatest lesson I have learned in life is that I still have a lot to learn

Mike Winterbourne

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