Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers

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2011 AGM & Striking Competition

Barford Church basks in the
evening sunshine (Photo: CMP)

Saturday October 15th was a sunny day, which is a good thing for a Guild AGM and Striking Competition. Barford's light 6 were well-suited to the competition, which preceded the meeting. As always, the tea tables heaved with food, such that nobody went home hungry. All good traditional stuff for this sort of event!

The open gallery Ringing Room with
one team giving its all.

Unfortunately, the judge chosen for the competition had had surgery a little before the event and had to cancel a short while before the start, so Mark Sayers stepped into the breach. He mentioned he was out gardening when the call came, and said he was returning there when he'd done!

Mark Sayers giving the competition results
(or was it 'A drink? Yeah, this is killing me: mine's a pint!')

The competing teams put up a good show. As appears to be the norm now, the scratch team wiped the board, but such teams are there for the fun of it and of course are ineligible for the silverware. Of the real teams this year, 'the old order changeth', with not one but two new teams taking the top two slots.

The AGM 'top table':
Andrew Gunn (Hon Sec), John Nicholls (President)
and Peter Quinn (Guild Master)

The AGM itself was fairly staid and uneventful: no jumping about and/or throwing things. The Business to be transacted was largely straightforward, with only two proposals providing something to chew over: an increase to the annual subscription, and changes to the Guild Rules. Both these items were discussed positively and both proposals were agreed. It was a 'nice' meeting!

Minutes of the 2011 Annual General Meeting

The AGM of the Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers was held at St Peter's Church, Barford, Warks, on Saturday 15th October 2011 starting at 1724 hrs, with the President, John Nicholls, in the Chair. About 20 members attended. Prior to the Meeting, the Striking Competition for the Newing Shield and Spencer Jones Cup was held, with five teams entering.

  1. Apologies: Apologies were received from Michael Haynes, John Kinchin, Chris Righton, David Clarke, David Adams, Freda Cleaver, Isobel Murphy, Bill Nash, John and Hilary Bolton, and Ben Lewis-Skeath.

    The President welcomed everybody to the meeting and said a few words of thanks to the Committee for all their work.

  2. Minutes of the Last Meeting: The Guild President asked whether the Minutes were a true record. Nothing was raised and they were signed off.

  3. Matters arising: Nothing was raised.

  4. Guild Master's Report: The Guild Master, Peter Quinn, said his report appeared in the July issue of the Newsletter (no 129) and, as there was nothing to add, suggested it could be taken as read.

  5. Treasurer's Report: The Treasurer, Mike Rees, wasn't present to answer questions. Chris Povey pointed out that the Newsletter copy contained a typographical error concerning expenditure in 2010 to Coventry Silvercraft of £56.83, and amended copies were handed out. A short discussion on the accounts followed. It was noted that the assets in year 2010 had risen slightly over 2009. It was pointed out that £300 was due to the Mid-week tours donations and that this amount and similar amounts from this source would in future be accounted for separately as Bell Restoration Fund money. It was also reported that the Account Examiners had yet to see the books and had been trying to make contact with Mike Rees. Those present accepted the amended accounts, proposed by Michael Fairfax and seconded by Trevor Hobday. After many years in the post Mike is standing down as Treasurer at this meeting.

  6. Election of the President: Peter Quinn took the Chair and said one formal nomination had been received: John Nicholls. Chris Povey reminded that the President and the Vice Presidents would serve a term of three years if the amended rules are approved: John accepted this. If this rule amendment were accepted, Andrew Gunn suggested that it linked with the CCCBR three yearly election; and, if accepted, this first period will be shorter in view of the 2010 CCCBR election. This was supported. In view of the single nomination, John was returned unopposed. John mentioned that although the post of President is not formally part of the Committee and therefore of the management of the Guild, he does enjoy his participation in this aspect.

  7. Election of Vice-Presidents: The two present Vice-Presidents (Rev Dr Peter Newing and Phyllis Brazier) were returned unopposed. The proposed Rule changes formalise more than one Vice-President, but more than two was thought unnecessary at this stage.

  8. Election of Officers:
    Guild Master: one formal nomination received - Peter Quinn, proposed by Chris Povey and seconded by Stuart Cummings. Re-elected.
    Ringing Master: Sophia Lewis-Skeath was proposed by John Nicholls and seconded by Peter Quinn. Re-elected.
    Secretary: one nomination received - Andrew Gunn, proposed by Peter Quinn and seconded by Ted Copson. Re-elected.
    Treasurer: Michael Dane was proposed by John Nicholls and seconded by Ted Copson - Elected.

  9. Election of the Committee and Accounts Examiners: Bill Nash did not wish to stand again. Michael Fairfax suggested Keith Murphy (as CC Rep he will be part of the Committee as of right if the amended rules are accepted, as is Chris Povey, so the nomination was deemed valid). The names of the current Committee members were read out and, with the exception of Bill Nash, were returned en bloc. The Committee members are therefore: Stuart Cummings, Michael Haynes, Jackie Hands, Peter Kenealy, Keith Murphy and Chris Povey. The Account Examiners (Trevor Hobday and Mike Fairfax) were both returned.

  10. Confirmation of New Members: The membership of the following were confirmed:-
    Andrew Roberts (Fairford)
      proposed by Sophia Lewis-Skeath,
      seconded by John Nicholls.
    James Ingham (Leamington Spa)
      proposed by John Nicholls,
      seconded by Peter Quinn.
    Peter Bennett (Newport, Mon)
      proposed by Chris Povey,
      seconded by John Nicholls.
    Clive Sparling (Moreton-in-Marsh)
      proposed by Richard Lewis-Skeath,
      seconded by John Nicholls.

  11. Proposal to amend the Guild Rules: These were published in the July Newsletter. John Nicholls asked for comments. Andrew Gunn suggested that a member of the Committee should be able to second a new member, rather than just the Officers. A varied discussion on this aspect followed. Mike Fairfax suggested any Member to second, but the general feeling was that some sort of 'filter' was required to prevent 'in the pub or similar' elections. Andrew Gunn's proposal - that any Ringing Member may propose a new member and that a Guild Officer or any member of the Guild Committee may second - eventually emerged as the most practical way forward and was confirmed in a vote. Robert Hall suggested an addition, that a non-member may be elected a Ringing Member before a Guild peal attempt by being proposed and seconded by two participating Ringing Members, and also the payment of the relevant subscription. Such elections are to be ratified at the next Committee Meeting and reported at the next AGM. A vote agreed this addition. With the inclusion of these two amendments, the meeting voted almost unanimously to accept the proposals.

  12. Proposal to raise the annual subscription: The formal notice of this proposal was published in the July Newsletter and was being made on behalf of the Committee by the (then) Guild Treasurer, Mike Rees. There was a discussion about why an increase was required. It was reported the Guild's expenses have increased and, as in the last two years at least, it is drawing on its reserves. Although the costs of producing the Newsletter have been held steady by printing in-house, there is now the insurance on the Guild's activities and the silverware. Mike Fairfax seconded the proposal. Robert Hall proposed a rise to £4 as an amendment; Richard Lewis-Skeath seconded. The vote on the amendment did not support it. A large majority voted for the proposal. The subscription rate for 2012 onwards will be £5 for members and £2 for Juniors. Peter Quinn said the Committee will continue to minimise costs. Sophia Lewis-Skeath said some towers may be getting too many Newsletter copies, so this needs looking at again. Peter Kenealy asked whether members joining from the beginning of this November to the end of the year would pay this year's rate for 14 months, or whether it will be the new rate. It was agreed as the increased rate (£5 and £2). The possibility of a pensioner's concessionary rate was asked about, but was unsuccessful in obtaining a positive answer.

  13. Any other Business:

    1. Michael Fairfax mentioned last year's Striking Competition, in which the test piece of one of the teams produced some false changes that included rounds. Although part of that team and initially somewhat indignant about the way in which the incident was discussed at the time (although that team was subsequently confirmed by the Committee as the winner), he supported the wording of the new rule as displayed in the July Newsletter as being entirely fair to all; and although the new rule is currently in force (it being a Committee decision), he was very pleased to propose its formal adoption for the Competition Rules.
      Ted Copson seconded.
    2. Robert Hall suggested a Guild summer afternoon river trip at Evesham. The boat, Handsam Too, owned by Guild member Tom Sandham, can take 55. The trip could be to the boatyard near Chadbury, at which there are barbecue and other eating and drinking facilities. There could be ringing at the Bell Tower beforehand. The likely cost of the 45min trip there, eats/tea/coffee and then return by boat would be about £12.50/person. If this is supported, he is willing to organise this with Sophia Lewis-Skeath, who expressed her willingness to assist. Considerable interest was expressed at his suggestion.
    3. Christmas ringing on December 17th has changed to Blockley, due to a function in Campden Church that night. The subsequent Christmas gettogether will be in the Church Rooms, Chipping Campden, as originally advertised.

  14. Results of the Striking Competition - Newing Shield: This was judged by Mr Mark Sayers.

    1stMoreton-in-Marsh.Total 25.
     (awarded the Newing Shield)
    2ndWellesbourne.Total 27.
     (awarded the Spencer Jones Cup)
    3rdMickleton.Total 45.
    4thLong Compton.Total 109.
     Scratch team.Total 17.

    The Brazier Competition: no entries this year.

Meeting closed at 1836 hrs. John Nicholls thanked everybody for their input.

Andrew Gunn,
Hon. Secretary.

Please note these Minutes are subject to final acceptance at the 2012 AGM. Prepared November 2011.