Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers

  1. TOC
  2. back
  3. next

From the Archives (100 years ago)

The Old Minute Book records the following for the quarter 1st January to 31st March 1913:-

March 25th 1913:

A Committee Meeting (presided over by the Rev Spencer Jones) was held at The Rectory, Moreton-in-Marsh, to arrange the programme for the April meeting at Blockley.

The following resolutions were duly passed:-

1st. That the date of the meeting be 24th April.

2nd. That the time be 2.0pm

3. That the competitions be as usual, but that the number of Call Changes to be rung in the 5 minutes allowed must be 10.

4. Proposed by Mr Evans, seconded by Mr Barnes (Blockley) that Mr Brinkworth of Charlton Kings be invited to officiate as Judge in the Competition, and failing him that Messrs Evans & Wigginton of Blockley, be appointed.

5. That a Special Service be held in the Parish Church at 4-30pm and that the Rev Canon Houghton be asked to sanction same, and be the Preacher.

6. That the tea be at The Bell Hotelat 5.30pm.

With regard to the Rev Canon Houghton's suggestion that the preliminary Committee meeting be held at the Parish where the Competitions are to take place, it was decided to defer consideration of the matter until the Half-yearly meeting of the Guild.

It was suggested a concert might be arranged in aid of the Guild Funds, but no decision was arrived at.

The usual vote of thanks to the Chairman for presiding and granting use of the Parish room, closed the meeting. There were only 6 delegates present.

(Signed) Edw'd J Houghton

From the Archives (40 years ago — The Ruby Anniversary)

A momentous meeting took place on 30th March 1973. This was called by Tony Brazier to gauge interest in reforming the Four Shires Guild, which had lain dormant since the beginning of WW2. Tony had become increasingly concerned about the lack of local ringing direction from the territorial organisations in the North Cotswolds area and increasingly interested in the aims, local direction and lack of dividing boundaries the Guild used to offer the area. He felt this was needed again and organised the meeting to determine what support existed for a reformation.

Here are the Minutes of that meeting as recorded in the reformed Guild's first Minute Book:-

Meeting held on Friday 30th March 1973 at the Church Room, Church Street, Chipping Campden to consider the formation of a Guild or Society of Ringers in the North Cotswolds area:

Prior to the meeting, the following notice was circulated as widely as possible to ringers and other interested persons living within the area proposed to be covered:

Acting upon suggestions from a number of ringers in the North Cotswolds area for the formation of a Guild or Society of Ringers to actively promote Church Bell ringing generally, but particularly Service ringing, and the raising of standards and conditions for ringing in the area, it has been decided to arrange a meeting on Friday 30th March 1973 in the Church Room, Church Street, Chipping Campden (opposite the Eight Bells) at 7.30pm to discuss the idea.

You are invited to attend, together with other ringers who live or ring in the area and to whom you are able to pass on the information.

For anyone finding difficulty in travelling to Chipping Campden, assistance with transport can be made by contacting any of the persons named below.

The area as it is suggested to be covered is broadly bounded by Bledington, The Slaughters, Guiting Power, Didbrook, Offenham, Quinton, Tredington, Brailes, Hook Norton and Chipping Norton. At the meeting, it is also hoped to show photographs and other records of the Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers.

A.J.Brazier              J.W.Nicholls         L.C.Dowdeswell
32 Badsey Fields Lane    Guild Cottage        The Lodge
Badsey, Evesham          Sheep Street         Maugersbury Park
Worcs                    Chipping Campden     Stow-on-the-Wold, Glos
Tel. Evesham 832589      Glos                 Stow-on-the-Wold 30350

Present at the meeting were Mrs J.Holden (Bledington), A.C.Berry (Pershore), R.Bindoff (Badsey), H.J.Boulter (Bledington), A.J.Brazier (Badsey),  A.H.Diston (Ebrington),  L.C.Dowdeswell  (Stow-on-the-Wold), C.E.Evans (Badsey), M.F.Fairfax (Mickleton), G.R.Harper (Moreton-in-Marsh), H.O.Hart (Chipping Campden), C.Holden (Bledington), F.Ingles (Willersey), L.Joynes (Longborough), J.W.Nicholls (Chipping Campden), C.M.Povey (Ebrington), Revd R.F.Rothery (Chipping Campden), F.G.Rouse (Ebrington), M.Stewart (Badsey), and W.F.Wood (Chipping Campden).

Chairman:     Mr H.O.Hart was elected Chairman for the meeting proposed by A.J.Brazier, seconded by J.W.Nicholls

The Chairman outlined the reasons for calling the meeting and made reference to the Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers which was formed in the early part of the present century, in its heyday sponsoring ringing competitions, but ceasing to function after 1939, when the normal ringing of church bells was not permitted.

A general discussion followed in which reminiscences, and suggestions for a Guild, were made.

Proposed by C.M.Povey, seconded by G.R.Harper:

The Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers be restarted.
Carried unanimously.

Proposed by L.C.Dowdeswell, seconded by C.Holden:

A committee be formed to investigate and put in hand the re-formation of the Guild.
Carried unanimously.

Proposed by L.C.Dowdeswell, seconded by J.W.Nicholls:

The Committee be H.O.Hart (Chairman), A.J.Brazier (Secretary) with members C.E.Evans, M.F.Fairfax, G.R.Harper, S.C.Holden and Revd.R.F.Rothery.
Carried unanimously.

After further general discussion, the Chairman closed the meeting.

And so, the Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers came into being once more. Two committee meetings followed later that year, in April and October, plus the 1973 AGM in Ilmington on 27th October.

Until recently the date for restarting the Guild was taken as 1st January 1974, but this is clearly an error, as the Guild functioned with an elected committee and an AGM from the 30th March meeting onwards to the end of 1973. January 1st 1974 was the date from which subscriptions were first taken. CMP