Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers

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From the Archives (100 years ago)

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

April 24th 1913:

The Spring meeting of the Guild for the year 1913 took place at Blockley on April 24th, and it affords much pleasure to again record another happy and successful gathering. There was (sic) the usual Competitions in which 5 towers took part, viz Shipston, Campden, Moreton, Longborough & Willersey. After a spirited effort on the part of all the Competitors, in which some thorough (sic) good ringing was heard, the Judge (Mr W Brinkworth) finally gave his award to Willersey as victors in the whole of the events. At 4-30 the members attended divine service when an eloquent sermon was preached by The Rev Adams of Chipping Norton. At 5-30 the members repaired to 'The Bell Hotel' for Tea, where a capital spread was provided and to which between 40 & 50 members and friends sat down. Tea over, the Chairman (The Rev Canon Houghton) opened the business meeting. The Sec read the minutes which was (sic) passed unanimously. Letters of apology expressing regret at inability to be present coupled with their best wishes for a successful meeting was (sic) read from The Rev Spencer Jones (who wrote from Taunton) and The Rector of Mickleton. The President handed Certificates to members of the Campden & Shipston towers being the successful Competitors at the previous (Autumn) meeting at Longborough. The Sec next read the Balance Sheet for the past year which was cordially received, showing a Balance in hand of £5-7-4½.

In giving the Half-yearly Report the Sec announced that one more Tower (Willersey) had joined the Guild, which brought the strength of the Guild up to date as follows, Towers 7., Hon'y Mems 8. Ordinary Mems 45. Total 53. He also suggested with regard to the Monthly meetings of the different Towers that those outside the Guild should also be visited provided the consent of the Incumbent of the Parish can be obtained, as he considered by that means our membership would be increased. Mr A. White & Mr H. Jarrett were re-elected Hon Sec & Treasurer respectively. The President brought forward the question of Preliminary meetings, which proposed to hold all Committee meetings prior to the Half-yearly gatherings, at the Parish where the Competitions are to take place. After some discussion it was Proposed & Seconded that the Foreman of each Tower be asked to decide the question. On a vote being taken 2 were in favour of the proposition and 3 against, the Rule thus remains unaltered. This being Moreton's turn for the Autumn Meeting the Sec suggested that his Tower should stand aside in favour of Willersey, the other members from Moreton agreed, and it was carried unanimously.

This concluded the Business and in Proposing a Vote of thanks to the Chairman the Sec referred to the great interest he took in the welfare of the Guild, and his generosity in receiving the services that day of an independent Judge. The vote was duly Sec(onded) and carried with acclamation. The Rev Canon Houghton suitably responded, and the meeting closed.

The Competitions resulted as follows,

Rising & Sinking  Method
Willersey98 per cent   Willersey99 per cent
Shipston97 "   Shipston98 "
Campden87 "   Longborough98 "
Moreton86"   Moreton98 "
Longborough76 "   CampdenNil

(Probably by oversight, Minutes not signed)

From the Archives 40 years ago

The embryo reformed Guild moved forward by holding its first Committee meeting. The date was a bit scary if anyone was superstitious - Friday 13th - but we know the long-term outcome was successful!

Committee Meeting held on Friday 13th April 1973 at The Maines, Evenlode.

Present: H.O.Hart (Chairman), A.J.Brazier, C.E.Evans, G.R.Harper and S.C.Holden.

Apologies: Apologies were received from M.F.Fairfax and Revd R.F.Rothery

Rules: A draft set of rules submitted by the Secretary was considered. After discussion at length, a final draft was agreed for presentation to the Annual General Meeting:

Legal: The legal position concerning the Guild, in view of the lapse of time since previous activities and the existence of the shield and silver cup used in ringing competitions, was discussed, and it was agreed to leave the matter with the Secretary to take any necessary action and report to the next Committee meeting.

Saturday practices: It was agreed to continue the existing arrangements, with one Saturday in each month at an eight-bell tower, and the remaining Saturday at five- or six-bell towers.

Annual General Meeting: It was agreed to hold the Annual General Meeting on 27th October 1973, Secretary to make the necessary arrangements.

Next Meeting: The next meeting to be arranged by the Secretary to take place two or three weeks prior to the Annual General Meeting.

(Signed) H.O.Hart, 16th October 1973

The Maines' was the home of Geoff Harper. Geoff had been heavily involved with installing the new Taylor ring of 8 bells in St David's Church, Moreton-in-Marsh, in 1958. He had a fruit, vegetable and high-class cheeses shop in Moreton High Street, on the western side just up from The Bell public house, and lived there until he retired to Evenlode.