Minutes of the Annual District Meeting held on Saturday 9th February 2019 in the Memorial Hall, Butts Green, Lockerley.
1. Chairman’s Welcome. The Chairman, John Croft, opened the meeting at 5.32 p.m., with a welcome to those present, including visitors, and with thanks to the Vicar and Wardens for the use of the bells of Lockerley and the Tytherleys, to John Niblett for ably leading the service, to Gary Davies for playing the organ and to the Lockerley and East Tytherley ringers Bands for hosting the day and for laying on a splendid ringers’ tea [applause].
2. Attendance. The following 35 members of the District (representing nine bands and unattached), and three guests signed the attendance register: Christine and Peter Hill, Jinny Kufluk and Tony Smith (all of Hursley), Gary Davies, Sam Fussell, Sheila Piper, John Palk, Alan Sparrow and Mark Warner (all of Lockerley and East Tytherley), Roger Booth, Andrew Johnson and Elizabeth Johnson (all of New Alresford), Caroline and Martin Daniels, Andrew Glover (all of Romsey), Rodney Skinner (Ropley), Jenny Watson (Sparsholt), Maggie Lippiett (Twyford), John Colliss, John Gawne-Cain and Bruce Purvis (all of Winchester Cathedral), Christine Knights-Whittome (Wonston), John and Joyce Croft (both unattached); Charlotte Colliss (Swanmore) Rob Hatch (Botley) and Mike Winterbourne (Guild Master – Tangley) comprising the guests. Also present were Graham Wright (Bishopstoke), Alison Fydler and Carol Ward (Candover Valley Ringers), Jen Churchill (Lockerley) and Edmund Wratten (unattached)
3. Apologies for absence. Apologies for absence were received from Amanda Bayford, Judy Bishop, Gerry Cornick, Carol Higgins, Ann and Roy LeMarechal Micki Nadal, Sue Spurling and Tony Stirling.
4. Minutes of the Previous Meeting. Adoption as a true record of the minutes of the Quarterly District Meeting held on 10 November at Houghton Village Hall was proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Andrew Johnson and carried on a show of hands.
5. Matters Arising. Minute 10.ii Transfer of towers. Rodney Skinner remarked on the Andover District apparently shedding towers: Tony Smith advised that King’s Somborne and Stockbridge were rung by the same band, and Andrew Johnson added that the transfer of Stockbridge and Leckford to our district were subject to ratification by the Guild AGM.
6. Loss of members through death. The Chairman, John Croft, having recently attended the funeral, remarked on the passing in January of Graham Grant, successively secretary and, for twenty years, Captain of the Cathedral Bell-ringers. Graham was for many years Bell Advisor to the Diocesan Advisory Committees and was appointed a Life Member of the Guild in 1996 for services to the Guild; he assisted John’s father – Guild Master in the centenary year – with a unique contribution to the artwork for the centenary. We mourned also the passing of Ivor Trueman, formerly Captain at Romsey Abbey. After a short period of silence, the Chairman recited the words of the Requiem.
7. Confirmation of belfry elections. Probationary members: Carrie Blythe of Crawley on 12 June 2018, proposed by Edmund Wratten, seconded by Amanda Bayford. Lisa Rodrigues of Crawley on 2 October 2018, proposed by Edmund Wratten, seconded by Amanda Bayford. Nikki Archard of Lockerley on 12 November 2018, proposed by Gary Davies, seconded by Jen Churchill. Andrew Hughes and Jacqui Smith of Candover Valley on 2 January 2019, proposed by Alison Fydler, seconded by Carol Ward. Eva Nunn of Wonston on 12 January 2019, proposed by Christine Knights-Whittome, seconded by Gerry Cornick. Elloise Clark of Easton on 17 January 2019, proposed by Judy Bishop, seconded by Pam Chrismas. Jon Butler of Romsey on 23 January 2019, proposed by Andrew Glover, seconded by Nigel Herriott. Alice Kernick and Claire Stirman of Winchester Cathedral on 6 February 2019, proposed by Nick Bucknall, seconded by Bruce Purvis.
8a. Election of new ringing members. Robert A Eames and Stephen Wise of Bishopstoke, proposed by Roy LeMarechal, seconded by Graham Wright. Kristine Wright of Bishopstoke, proposed by Graham Wright, seconded by Roy LeMarechal. Cara Bennett and Victoria Bennett of Crawley, proposed by Edmund Wratten, seconded by Amanda Bayford. Tom Burnell of Easton, proposed by Judy Bishop, seconded by Pam Chrismas. Sheila Piper of Lockerley and East Tytherley, proposed by Gary Davies, seconded by Jen Churchill. Sharon Reynolds of Micheldever proposed, by Juliet Pattinson, seconded by Mary Tiles. Reuben Burbidge, Cath Hart, William Lay and Peter Maddams of Romsey, proposed by Andrew Glover, seconded by Nigel Herriott. Christine Nicol of Sherfield English, proposed by Wendy Nash, seconded by Caroline Simpson. Elaine Pickering and Paul Tanner of Sparsholt, proposed by Jenny Watson, seconded by John Cleverley. Helen Ellerby and Kate Kernick of Winchester Cathedral, proposed by Nick Bucknall, seconded by Mike Hopkins Till. Tomas Nunn, Janet Ryan and Ian Waites of Wonston, proposed by Christine Knights-Whittome, seconded by Gerry Cornick.
8b. Presentation of Certificates. Membership certificates and badges were presented to Roger Booth and Jinny Kufluk, and were taken for members at Broughton and Houghton, Candover Valley, Micheldever, New Alresford, Romsey, Sherfield English and Winchester Cathedral. A first quarter-peal certificate was presented to Alan Sparrow, and a first peal certificate was taken for Carol Higgins (both of Lockerley and East Tytherley).
9. Officers’ Reports. Secretary’s Report: With the addition of a note that Romsey had won the Guild inter-tower six-bell competition, adoption was proposed by John Colliss and seconded by Christine Knights-Whittome. Treasurer’s Report and accounts: adoption of the accounts, as usual carefully examined by John Colliss, was proposed by Peter Hill and seconded by John Palk. Both reports were adopted on a show of hands. Caroline Daniels remarked on the growing credit balance, and enquired what use might be made of it. Tony advised that, as an example, £500 had been voted to local bell-restoration funds; Rodney added that Ropley would be calling upon the District for financial assistance. Tony advised that according to the rules of the Guild, monies could only be spent by vote of a District meeting. Andrew suggested that the fund could be used to support teaching in the District, and Tony replied that this was practice in times past.
10. Election of Officers. The Chairman, in standing down prior to the election, took the opportunity to thank his fellow officers for their support – without whose support he couldn’t do the job that he did – and to ringers throughout the district, remarking with gratitude upon the co-operation and shared sense of purpose tin the District. With that, he was prepared to stand for 2019. The Treasurer was happy to continue in post, though he ‘would not be offended if anyone else wished to take over as treasurer’, or if anyone felt like understudying the office with a view to taking it on. Tony added that the requisite skills were good personal organisation and enjoyment of looking after finances. The secretary was prepared to continue for this year, but he would be happy to stand down if anyone else wished to take on his post (no-one was) but in the absence of a successor, entered a plea for some assistance with the office. The other sitting officers were likewise willing to stand for 2019, and John Colliss was willing to continue as Independent Examiner of the accounts. The offices were filled as follows:-
Chairman: John Croft, proposed by Jenny Watson, seconded by Rodney Skinner;
Secretary: Bruce Purvis, proposed by Peter Hill, seconded by Carol Ward;
Treasurer: Tony Smith, proposed by Jen Churchill, seconded by John Palk;
Ringing Master: Edmund Wratten, proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Christine Knights-Whittome;
Joint Ringing Master: Jenny Watson, proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Christine Knights-Whittome;
Executive Committee Representative: John Croft, proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Carol Ward;
Independent Examiner of Accounts: John Colliss, proposed by Jenny Watson, seconded by John Palk;
Webmaster: Andrew Glover, proposed by Christine Knights-Whittome, seconded by Caroline Daniels;
Newsletter Editor: John Palk, proposed by Carol Ward, seconded by Caroline Daniels; all elected on a show of hands.
11. Future Events. The Secretary advised the meeting that the year’s programme was, thanks to Jenny Watson’s sterling efforts, been confirmed up as far as the October District Practice, with the exception of May’s quarterly meeting. The remainder of the programme had been devised and was subject to confirmation. Andrew Johnson advised the meeting that Twyford was holding an open day on 11 May, to raise funds for the target of £20,000 for overhauling the bells, and suggested that the District Meeting might usefully be combined with the Open Day. Action – the Secretary to explore. The District Practice at Wonston was brought forward by one week to prevent a clash with the Guild AGM.
Christine Knights-Whittome outlined the Education Committee’s programme for the rest of the year, as follows:-
17 April: Discussion panel on future directions for the Guild and Districts, the Undercroft, Winchester Cathedral Close
17 May: Evening tutorial on Basic Raising and Lowering, Bishopstoke
14 September: Day-school on Raising and Lowering in Peal, Bishopstoke
12 October: Day-school on Listening Skills, Lockerley
23 November: Day-school on Plain Hunting
23 November: Bell Maintenance, Hawkley
12. Romsey Show. The secretary advised the meeting that the organisers of the Romsey Show had once more invited the District to participate. John Palk added that the show was attended by between 20,000 and 25,000, so was potentially a huge showcase. Martin Daniels spoke eloquently in favour of participation; Bruce Purvis cautioned that success depended on positioning and marketing: in 2017 the organisers had listed ringing under “Just for kids” – when we might more usefully have been grouped with local crafts/activities and (physically) near classic vehicles or agricultural machinery. As regards costs, John advised that these were practically met by our investment in the 2016 and 2017 shows: the sole cost now would be one of time. Further points included the need for publicity beforehand, following up enquiries at the show, the need for a steering committee. The consensus of the meeting was that we go ahead. Tony Smith proposed, and Christine Knights-Whittome seconded, that a budget agreed in previous years be allocated to meet expenses arising: carried on a show of hands. Action – John Palk
A final observation was that it might be necessary to reschedule the training morning, Cheriton, 7 September
13. Guild Striking Competitions. The Chairman reminded the meeting that the Guild Inter-Tower competitions (6- and 8-bell) would take place at Wickham and Shedfield on Saturday 18 May. The Guild Inter-District 8-bell competition would take place on the morning of the AGM on Saturday 15 June at Brighstone. Tony Smith volunteered to organise a team for the Inter-District Competition, and his offer was accepted with gratitude.
14. Guild Master. The Guild Master, Mike Winterbourne, expressed hearty thanks to everyone who takes on a role, or a task, at tower, district or guild level to keep bells ringing whether for divine service or practices. Turning to the World War One
commemorations, he urged everyone to look at their tower’s page on the Record of Commemorative Ringing to check that names and other details were correct. The book would be presented to the Bishops at evensong services, on May 12 at Portsmouth at 6.00 p.m. and on May 19 at Winchester at 3.30. The Charmborough Ring would be present at the Winchester service. All Guild members were invited, and the Master hoped that any and everyone who had rung for the Centenary of the Armistice would be present.
15. Any Other Business.
1. Funding for Youth Training. Martin Daniels, harking back to the points raised at item 9 above, wished to propose funding for youth training and development, for example, to participate in the Ringing World National Youth Competition. Tony Smith advised that it was open to District members to request assistance, such individual cases being subject to consideration by the District officers. However, what was not possible was for a substantive proposal to be sprung upon a meeting under “AOB”, such a matter being too complex to consider with neither notice nor an adequate briefing. What was needed was a reasoned proposal, brought before a meeting as a substantive agenda item. Other suggestions from the floor included creation of a bursary scheme, with disbursements made at the officers’ discretion (Peter Hill), a proposal to provide £100 to assist any young ringers going to Liverpool for the National Youth Competition in July (the sum to be shared amongst all those so travelling – maybe six or seven (Christine Hill), and advice from Mike Winterbourne that there was a Guild training fund available; also, by the way, that the Guild Youth Bells and Bowls event was taking place next Saturday, 16 February.
2. Education. Christine Knights-Whittome advised that she had application forms for the upcoming Grandsire Doubles and Triples day-school (6 April) and for Guild sweatshirts and polo shirts (closing date for orders, 1 April, delivery around Easter)
3. Candover Valley News. Carol Ward reported on the success of a presentation she had made to her local Women’s Institute – with thanks for the loan of the Cathedral’s model bell – and that the band had gained a new recruit as a result. The Northington augmentation was almost finished, with the installation of a false ceiling for sound control. The ring would comprise a light six with one of the original three bells, dating from 1602, retained for tolling. A date had yet top be established for the bells to be blessed and an inaugural quarter-peal.
4. Guild Executive Committee. The Master reminded the meeting that the next Guild Executive Committee meeting would be held on 16 March, should anyone have a topic which they wished their representative to raise.
5. National Twelve-Bell Competition. Peter Hill reminded the meeting that the eliminating heats for the National Twelve-Bell Competition would take place at St Mary Redcliffe on 23 March, with the final taking place at Exeter.
6. Bell Restoration Fund. The collection for the Bell Restoration Fund raised £26.54.
The meeting closed at 6.49 p.m.