Minutes of 2018 Annual Andover District Meeting



Founded 26 June 1879 as the Winchester Diocesan Guild



Minutes of 2018 Annual Andover District Meeting

Held at Andover, St. Mary the Virgin

13th January 2018 at 5.50pm

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  1. Welcome and Vote of Thanks

Remembering those District ringers who passed away in 2017

Rev. Peter Robbins – Former vicar at St. Mary’s Kingsclere

Coral Northeast – Basingstoke District member with friends in the District.

David Underhill former ringer at the Clatfords.

Ros Brandwood (treasurer) thanked all attending and explained that neither the Chair nor the Vice Chair were able to attend the meeting.  She was standing in as acting Chair.

She also thanked:

  • The vicar and Churchwardens for the use of the church and the organ.
  • Canon Harkin for taking the service.
  • Gill Gardner for playing the organ.
  • The Kingsclere ringers and Kath Gray for providing the tea.
  • Barbara Townsend for organizing the day.

2. Apologies

  • Peter Niblett, Jenny James Whitchurch, Eve Lind Smith St. Mary Bourne,
  • Mike and Lucy Hopkins Till Highclere, Terry Tarrant Andover,
  • Janet Larkin, Mike and Sharon Morris, Tim Pink, Martin Newbery, Sarah Bates Kingsclere,
  • Abbotts Ann members, Louise Wodehouse Clatfords.

2. Acceptance of 2017 ADM Minutes. (Goodworth Clatford 14.1.17)

The minutes which had previously been distributed were agreed.

Proposed Mike Winterbourne, seconded Lionel Clarke.

3. Matters Arising


4.Acceptance of Half-Yearly Minutes.  Whitchurch 25.11.17

The minutes which had previously been distributed were agreed.

Proposed Mike Winterbourne, seconded Brian Oakes.

5. Matters Arising


6. Officers’ Reports.


          Chair: Peter Niblett

          PN had sent his report which was read to the meeting.

I must apologise for not being able to attend the ADM, but I have prepared a few words. I’d like to start by repeating something I said last year (and probably the year before that), and that is that the level of vitality of ringing activity in the District is not as high as it could be. It’s up to all of us as a District to participate in activities if ringing is really to thrive here

I know Helen is going to talk later about the District Practices, as she is concerned about the number of people attending them. I would like to thank her for the effort she puts into running the practices and assure her that this is greatly appreciated. At the same time I would encourage more people to attend. These practices are intended for all levels of ability, and if anyone has suggestions about how we can improve attendance, please let us know.

We can all benefit by widening our horizons and ringing outside our local towers. The practices are of course one way, but I would also remind you of the Guild Education days, and there are also a number of ringing courses. It has been disappointing that yet again we have had no-one take up our bursary scheme.

I may be sounding a bit gloomy, but on the positive side we had a very enjoyable outing to Somerset, organised again by John Simpson, Roger Thomas has continued running the monthly 8-bell practices at Hurstbourne Priors, and last year also saw the start of joint monthly surprise practices with the Oxford Guild. I would like to thank Tim for encouraging people to go to them, and for continuing to organize quarter peals.  Also this year will be the 90th anniversary of the District, and it would be good if we could mark that in a way that brings us all together.

I would like to close by thanking the other committee members whom I haven’t mentioned so far, Maggie and Ros for organizing it (and me) and Ros for standing in for me today.


Secretary: Maggie Hiller

Almost all the towers this year, have similar messages.

Recruiting and retention are a constant worry especially when we think to the future.  Variable attendance of some newer members slows their progress.  People are willing to come along to open days to find out about ringing but are unwilling to commit.

Most towers are able to manage service ringing, weddings and funerals, often with the help of ringers from neighbouring towers.  Andover can manage a monthly practice only.  Having only 5 ringers they would really welcome support from visitors on practice night (2nd Tuesday each month).

A few have managed to ring quarter peals for special occasions (WW1 commemorations, royal and family events and for church members who are moving away).  Visiting bands also have occasionally rung QPs this year.

Other tower visitors have included school parties, Rainbows, scouts and cubs as well as those who drop in during church fetes if the tower is open.  These visits have yielded new recruits at several towers in the last few years and hopefully the younger ones will return at a later date.

Some towers mention particular events.

A new kitchenette is in the process of being installed at St. Mary Bourne.  No ringing is possible there at present but Hurstbourne Priors has welcomed the band to their practices.

Abbotts Ann is pleased with the progress made and local interest expressed in their hand bell group.  They have also started to ring methods!

Whitchurch is trialing a terylene rope top to see if it will help in preventing breakages.

The joint practices held at Woolton Hill and Burghclere with additional ringers from Kingsclere and Kintbury continue to pay dividends.   Their new recruit made his public debut at the carol service on Christmas Eve.


Treasurer: Ros Brandwood

The Treasurer reported on the accounts for the year ended 30th November 2017, copies of which had been distributed to the meeting.  Ros thanked Carol Waller for undertaking the independent examination of the accounts.

It was pleasing to note that membership had increased very slightly, resulting in a small increase in income.  After deducting the amounts due to the Guild and other expenses, the District was left with a surplus of income over expenditure of £142 (£209 in 2016). 

The bursaries offered previously had not been taken up and it had been agreed to use some of the available funds to provide the tower fees for the district outing (£89).

The balance carried forward at the year-end was £1,310.60.

Adoption of the accounts was proposed by Helen Piper, seconded by Barbara Townsend and agreed by the meeting.

As mentioned previously, the bursaries offered in the last two years had not been taken up.  The officers, therefore, were suggesting an alternative way of encouraging members to take advantage of the training available.  The Guild’s Education Committee ran a number of courses throughout the year aimed at varying levels of ability.  The fees were generally a modest £12.  The District already offered to reimburse the cost for those in full-time education.  It now proposed to reimburse the cost of up to 10 courses a year for other members (limited to one course per applicant).  These would be awarded on a ‘first-come. first-served’ basis.  Details would be circulated by the Secretary


Ringing Master: Helen Piper

HP explained that she had been discouraged by members who had not attended DPs or who had left venues early.  DPs are designed to help members at the tower attended but it seems this is difficult to get across.

      She asked how members thought how they might be improved.

Suggestions were put forward:

  1. Ringing Master to establish the required needs of the ringers from the tower captain – what their band would like to ring – what they need help with.
  2. This programme to be emailed to all towers prior to the practice.
  3. To try a Saturday morning practice based on one method perhaps, to take place twice a year, during the summer.

All less experienced ringers need as much encouragement as possible to attend towers other than their own, and to attend DPs at their own towers. 

By keeping the emphasis on attendance at DPs it may persuade less able ringers that the support is there for them.

Roger Thomas suggested that rather than initiating a new Saturday morning practice as a way to attract more ringers, it would be better to put more effort into encouraging attendance at District practices, as these are already arranged, with towers and people to run the meetings.

Helen, Tim and Roger were all thanked for their hard work and dedication to providing the variety of ringing opportunities available in the District.

7. Election of Officers

At the 2017 ADM it was decided that the officers elected at the 2016 ADM would continue to serve until 2018 when the new rules (below) would be adopted.

Three District officers are to be elected for a term of two years on a rolling basis from 2018’

Year 1 – Chair, Vice Ringing Master, Treasurer

Year 2 – Vice Chair, Secretary, Ringing Master.

2018 is Year 1- Officers to be elected:

Chair (currently Peter Niblett) No new nominations were forthcoming.  Peter has agreed to continue.

Proposed Mike Winterbourne, seconded Barbara Townsend.  All in favour.

Vice Ringing Master (currently Tim Pink) No new nominations were forthcoming.  Tim has agreed to continue.

Proposed Helen Piper, seconded Carol Waller.  All in favour.

Treasurer (currently Ros Brandwood) No new nominations were forthcoming.  Ros has agreed to continue.

Proposed Maggie Hiller, seconded Helen Piper.  All in favour.

8. Appointments

Independent Examiner (currently Carol Waller)

Ros thanked Carol for her work.  Carol kindly agreed to continue. 

Proposed Ros Brandwood, seconded Helen Thomas.  All in favour.

Guild Exec Reps (currently District Secretary and Barbara Townsend)

The task of these officers is to attend the Guild Exec meetings and disseminate information to District towers.

Both officers agreed to continue.

Proposed Brian Oakes, seconded Helen Thomas.  All in favour.

District Forum Reps (currently Brian Oakes and Ros Brandwood)

An annual meeting to discuss any aspect of the Guild.  Any District member can attend.

Both officers agreed to continue and would welcome any other members who would like to join them.

Proposed Mike Winterbourne, seconded Maggie Hiller.  All in favour.

9. Election of New Members


Fore name


Proposed by

Seconded by

Membership type




Michael Bull

Brian Oakes



Louis (Lou)





Over Wallop

Prob to Full




Prob to Full



St. Mary Bourne


Briant Evans


Hurstbourne Priors

Prob to Full




Prob to Student









10. Proposals

‘The Meeting resolves that the current accounting period for the District be extended to cover the thirteen months ending 31st December2018; thereafter, the accounting year-end to be 31st December.

Background:  to bring the District’s accounting year-end in line with that used by the bulk of the districts within the W&P Guild.’

Proposed by Ros Brandwood, seconded Maggie Hiller. 

After discussion the proposal was withdrawn.

11. Events

a) Monthly District Practices: Gill Gardner has agreed dates with tower contacts and drawn up the list of venues for monthly District practices.  Two extra Saturday venues, mentioned in Item 7d will be added.

                            MH to send copies to all members.

b) Annual District Outing – Saturday 6th or 20th October depending on organizer.

                             Do we have a volunteer to organize this?

c) Education Days:

                             Christine Knights-Whittome outlined forthcoming events.

  •  Friday Evening 23rd Feb. at Bishopstoke ‘Basic Raising and Lowering’ (3 places remaining).
  • 17th March at St. Mary Bourne ‘Plain Bob Doubles and Minor’
  •  8 – 9.30pm 27th March at Cathedral Undercroft ‘Rope Splicing’

90th Anniversary of the Founding of the Andover District:

Towers were encouraged to find suitable ways to mark the event.


Firstly, I thank all those who take on roles in their towers and in their District for all your work.


Are you using the communication paths available, so you do not miss any information?

Win – Port email network

Guild Website – htpp//wpbells.org 


WW1 centenary approaching –How can you help?

Have a look at your old tower records to find any ringing that commemorates a WW1 battle, or records the passing of a WW1 soldier.  This need not be a Quarter just any ringing recorded in the tower records.

  • Ringing Remembers

Symbolic Replacements and a Living Legacy for the 1400 ringers lost during WW1.

A call to new ringers to replace those lost during WW1.

Local volunteers, through website, will be forwarded to District Secretaries who will hopefully find them a tower who will welcome and teach them.

Check the website for information coming towards the end of January with promotional fliers and posters to advertise Ringing Remembered.

  • On 11th November 2018, 100 years since Armistice

Ringers have been asked to ring the bells on 11th November 2018 ideally at 11am.  We know that even with Ringing Remembered supplying extra ringers will not be achievable in all churches, so can you start planning how we can get as many churches as possible involved during November 11th.

  • Cathedral Services

Spring 2019

Services will be held at Winchester and Portsmouth to remember those lost in WW1 and to present a book of the ringing in commemoration.

Liable to be held at 3pm, Evensong.  All ringers are invited.

  1. AOB
    1. Each tower is required to inform the editor of the Guild Report how many copies are required by them this year. 

Please contact Ros Brandwood with your total. 

Meeting closed at 19.10

Dates of next meetings:  Half-yearly –  Whitchurch on Monday 2nd July 2018

      2019 ADM at Whitchurch on Saturday 12th January

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