Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers

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Ahhhh… the Jubilee and the Olympics are over. No more special ringing… for this year at least. Congratulations to those who rang for these events. For reports of towers that rang for the Jubilee and the Olympics (including the torch runs), see Around the towers.

The Annual Ringing Tour this year was different: a three-day affair. The tour report shows it was greatly enjoyed, so Richard Lewis-Skeath gets the laurels for putting it all together. I'd heard about 24 ringers attended, so if attendance is a measure of success, then it was a great success.

Yet another Guild artefact has been discovered. I refer to the photo of the Guild in 1929, which came to light in Carlisle. I'm inclined think this is largely due to the Guild's greater exposure to the ringing scene at large, through the website and through being affiliated to the Central Council. If so, let this exposure remain. I think it fair to say we're all waiting for the pre-War Shield to re-appear. Hopefully it's still in existence somewhere and has not been melted down by some rogue in the distant past. I know various places in the area have been searched, but we've had the Old Minute Book from Swindon and the 1929 photo from Carlisle, both from well outside our immediate area. Should there be a full-blown appeal for a search?

Talking of Minute Books, the first Minute Book of the re-formed Guild has reappeared. In its own way it's as important as the Old Minute Book. It's with me at present, as I've been requested to photograph its pages as a digital record (as I did with Old Minute Book). It's the first time I've seen the 'new Old' Minute Book, so I've been fascinated to read about the early days of the reformed Guild. As mentioned in the July Editorial, the 40th anniversary of the exploratory meeting at Chipping Campden on March 30th 1973, at which the proposal to reform the Four Shires Guild was made with unanimous support from the gathering, comes up in 6 months time. I believe we should celebrate this. The Committee will consider this at their next meeting. Sadly, some of us won't see the 50th anniversary - and this applies equally to the survivors of that meeting (there are just six at the moment). Whatever the Committee decides to do doesn't stop individual members ringing something for that anniversary. (If I remember correctly, a peal was rung in 1993 to celebrate the 20th anniversary.)

Readers will spot that we are now displaying an advert for John Taylor & Co. This is a commercial arrangement, which is open to all bell-related suppliers. The rates are dependent on size and regularity. Speak to me if interested in advertising. (In case some readers think we are displaying an advert of a financially-ruined company, this John Taylor & Co isn't Taylor, Eayre & Smith, the company that went bust 3 years ago; nor is it that company in a different guise. It is a new company with new directors, new management and either new or carefully selected and proven employees from the previous disaster zone.)

An updated Guild handbook has been produced. It includes the Guild Rules as amended and agreed at last year's AGM, the rules of the Newing and Brazier Striking Competitions, the Guild Bell Restoration Fund constitution and rules, a brief history of the Guild and some photographs to brighten it up. Copies will be available at the AGM at Chastleton for distribution to members. Come to the AGM and get your (free) copy.

The Committee's decision to display the Newsletter on the Guild's website one issue in arrears means that you will need to be a member to read an up-to-date issue. Paid-up members will continue to receive up-to-date hardcopies; and those who until now have taken their Newsletter from the web will in future receive theirs by email. The new arrangement will begin formally with the January 2013 issue. It seems perfectly reasonable to me that paid-up members have an advantage over non-members!

Chris Povey, (Caretaker) Editor

(The views expressed in this Newsletter are not necessarily the views of the Four Shires Guild or its Committee. The Guild endorses no products or manufacturers advertised within the Newsletter — but would not allow such advertisements where the goods or services are knowingly questionable.)