District Chairman Mike Novell welcomed everyone to the meeting and wished them a belated Happy New Year. On behalf of all present he thanked Canon Will Hughes for conducting the Annual Bell Ringers’ Service; Andy Sparling for playing the piano (the organ being out-of-use); and the local catering team, led by Mary Broadbridge, who had provided such a good hot supper on a cold evening.
There were approximately 50 members present at the meeting, representing bands from the following towers: Parish of the Resurrection (Alton, Alton & Holybourne), St. Mary the Virgin Bramshott, St. Matthew Blackmoor, St. Mary Buriton, St. Mary Liss, All Saints East Meon, St. Peter Froxfield, St. Peter & St. Paul Hawkley, St. Peter Petersfield, St. Mary Selborne, All Saints Steep and St. John the Evangelist West Meon/Our Lady of Warnford.
Members stood in silence, to remember Anita Seamons of Selborne, who had died since the last AGM.
The Chairman introduced and welcomed Pete Jordan, Vice Master W&P. Mr Jordan thanked all District Members for ringing, and the District and Tower Officers for their work and commitment, during the past year. He noted that the A&P District was well represented and advertised on the Guild website.
Mr Jordan then spoke about the Guild’s WW1 Centenary Commemoration Project. In Spring 2019 services are to be held at both Winchester and Portsmouth Cathedrals, during which specially commissioned Books of Records of all ringing for the Fallen of the First World War will be presented. Towers are being asked to forward details of all performances to the Guild WWI Committee; performances sent to BellBoard (The Ringing World) should be marked with the code ‘W & P WW1’. These details relate to any ringing performance, tolling, touch, quarter or peal, and include all who fell in the conflict, whether or not they were ringers. He also asked members to research local tower records to find information about past ringing in memory of those who had given their lives.
Mr Jordan then spoke about ‘Ringing Remembers’, the new recruitment initiative: nationally 1400 ringers died during the War and it is hoped to recruit 1400 new ringers before 11th November in memory of those lost. The scheme is being organised nationally, so that learners can be placed at their most suitable local towers for training.
- The Minutes of the last meeting
The Minutes were accepted as a correct record and signed by the Chairman. He said that any Matters Arising would be covered during the rest of the meeting.
District Officers’ Reports
Chairman Mike Novell gave a verbal report. He said 2017 had been a successful year with marked progress in ringing skills. Membership had increased for the first time in many years; there were now 170 members (162 last year) and he was pleased to see more members attending the meeting. He said that the Summer Picnic had been good, despite heavy rain and the fact that many people came to ring rather than to eat. The annual Skittles event had run its course and would be discontinued. He concluded by thanking the other District Officers for their help and invited all members to get involved: “You don’t have to have a title to make a contribution; just get on and do it!”.
The Ringing Master’s and Executive Reps.’ reports had been circulated in advance of the meeting and were accepted as written. Mike Novell thanked Mo Routh who had attended the Guild Executive Meeting in his place at very short notice.
The Treasurer reported that the financial position was healthy and Privett Fund had increased (because of visitors to the tower). The Accounts were accepted. Proposed: Roger Barber, seconded: Charlotte Lloyd, and carried. The Chairman signed the record as accurate.
The Learning Resources Officer gave a verbal report, saying that £535 worth of books had been sold last year, making just over £100 in profit, which would be used to buy more books. She offered to obtain whatever titles members required.
The Publicity Officer reminded members that many tower updates for the Guild Annual Report were overdue.
In answer to a question, the Chairman said that a Secretary’s Report was not now appropriate since the job had changed, and the report had been prepared instead by the Ringing Master. However, it was agreed that the report should be rather fuller, covering more aspects of the District’s life, and not be merely the work of one person. The report is to be amended before publication.
- Election of Members
The meeting ratified one Probationer, Sam Marriott (Junior) from Alton.
Prop. Matthew Watts; 2nd Jess Hornsby
The following new members were elected:-
Andrew Croom-Johnson (Senior)
Prop. Anita Regin; 2nd Kathleen Ogilvie Thompson
Isadora Hansen (Junior)
Amy Hopgood (Junior)
Tom Hopgood (Junior)
Pandora Meredith-Hardy (Junior)
Prop. Terry Collins; 2nd Malcolm Donaldson
Prop. Joy Martin; 2nd Harry Cane
David Malone (Senior)
Prop. Melanie Moore; 2nd Madeline King
Ann Taylor (Senior)
Prop. Teresa Brown; 2nd Edwin Grimshaw
Steve Lamb of Alton was re-elected.
Prop. Mike Novell; 2nd Jess Hornsby
Dave Malone, alone of those elected, was present to receive his badge, certificate and literature from the Chairman, who warmly welcomed him to the Guild.
John and Jackie Downham, having recently moved from Winchester Cathedral to Petersfield, and Andrew Taylor, having recently moved from Portsmouth Cathedral to Alton, were all welcomed to the A&P District by the Chairman.
- Practices & forthcoming events
The Publicity Officer said that more practices were being arranged to add to those already on the Calendar. She asked members to keep checking the website for up-to-date information.
o Outings. Mike Novell announced that although there would not be a District Outing as such this year, all members were welcome to join the Alton Outing on the first Mayday Bank Holiday, Monday 7th May. He invited people to email him with suggested destinations. The group would travel by coach, but members would also be welcome to come for half a day by car. It was to be a social as well as a ringing occasion.
o Practices. Roger Barber said that recent Surprise Major Practices had been very good and he was willing to carry on organising such practices (informally, not as a District Officer). The eventual aim was to ring Superlative. He was also happy to organise Saturday evening practices for Plain Hunt and the simpler methods. People could email him with requests. Experienced ringers would be required to help. Practices would take place every month from February – November.
o It was decided that there were enough volunteers to enter a band in the 8 bell inter-District striking competition at Basingstoke on 16th June.
o Teresa Brown asked for volunteers to ring a District Quarter Peal (or Quarter Peals) at the Privett Flower Festival, taking place on 26th- 27th May. There will be three ringing slots, on the Sunday afternoon. Graham Cane and Roger Barber undertook to arrange this ringing.
o The Chairman is arranging to present Guild certificates to members who were elected during a period when certificates were not readily available.
o There was a discussion about other possible District events. Jess Hornsby offered to organise an Easter Egg Hunt with a practice at Selborne. The possibility of holding a local ‘outing’ (visiting each other’s towers) for Juniors was considered, if there was enough interest.
o The Ringing Master said that ringers should be encouraged to visit their neighbouring towers, if necessary going outside the Guild/county area. Towers should co-operate to support and help each other. It was, however, acknowledged that it would be very difficult to organise a ‘pool’ of Sunday ringers to ensure that all towers rang for services. Reference was made to Canon Hughes’ sermon in which he stressed that everyone had to work together and one couldn’t ring alone.
The meeting finished at 7.20pm.
Date of next meeting
The Spring Meeting will be held on Saturday 21st April at Privett, followed by ringing at West Meon.
9th February 2018