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 October to 31st December 1913:-

October 29th '13:

The Autumn Meeting of the Guild for the year 1913 was held at Willersey on Wednesday 29th Oct, 13, and the Secretary is again enabled to record another happy & successful gathering.

Competitions took place in the afternoon in which Campden, Shipston & Moreton participated, and the Judge Mr F J Johnson, (Hinton) gave his award as follows.

Rising & falling         Round Ringing
Moreton  97percent       Moreton V.G.I
Shipston 92 “ “          Shipston V.G.
Campden  90 ““           Campden G.
Call Changes             Method
Campden 98percent        Shipston V.G.I.
Shipston 96 “ “          Moreton Bad striking
Moreton 95 “ “           Campden did not compete

A Special Service was held in the Parish Church at 4.30pm, which was well attended. An earnest and impressive Sermon was preached by The Rev W F Eliot, Vicar of Winchcombe.

The Members then adjourned to the Schoolroom, where they sat down to a splendid meat Tea kindly given by the Rev H Highley and other friends in the Parish.

Among those present to the number of about 50, were the Rector of Willersey (Rev H Highley), Rev Spencer Jones ( Moreton) and the Rev O F Jacson (Campden).

Tea over, the Business Meeting commenced which was presided over by the Rev S Jones. The Hon Sec gave his Half-yearly Report, which showed an increased membership and a steady improvement in the Funds of the Guild.

Certificates won at the previous meeting at Blockley were then presented to the members of the Willersey Belfry by the Rev O F Jacson, who amid hearty cheers congratulated them on being the Victors on this their first attempt.

Moreton was selected for the next meeting in April.

The Chairman proposed a very hearty vote of thanks to the Rev H Highley and all those who had assisted him in providing the members with such an ample repast that day.

This was duly seconded & carried by acclamation, being suitably responded to by the Rev H Highley.

The question of having larger Certificates printed suitable for hanging in the Church Porch was raised, and it was pro. by the Rev O F Jacson, sec by Mr H Evans that this should be done. Carried. After a Vote of thanks had been accorded the Chairman for presiding, the meeting closed. Touches were rung on the Tower Bells during the evening.

Spencer Jones

From the Archives 40 years ago

The following is the record of the first Annual General Meeting held by the reformed Guild. It contains the first set of Guild Rules:-

Annual General Meeting held on Saturday 27th October 1973 at the Village Hall, Ilmington; Mr H O Hart, Chairman.

Apologies: Apologies were received from L C Dowdeswell, L Joynes, C Povey and R F Rothery.

Rules: the following rules recommended by the Committee were accepted:

The Rules continue down in much the same form as now, except for mild or interesting differences. For instance the requirement for Honorary Life Membership at that time was the following:-

(iii) Honorary Life Members. Persons who have reached the age of sixty-five years and shall have taken part in the activities of the Guild prior to 1940, are entitled to become Honorary Life Member, without payment of subscriptions upon application to the a secretary.

While this has been modified now, the Guild would still be very pleased to confer HLM on anybody who used to be a member of the Old Guild! The members elected at the time to various offices, the subscription to be levied, and the future ringing arrangements were outlined in the following Minutes:

Guild Master. Proposed by A J Brazier, seconded by C E Evans that H O Hart be elected. Carried unanimously.

Secretary & Treasurer. It was agreed that A J Brazier be elected.

Auditors: it was agreed that the nomination of Auditors be left to the discretion of the Committee.

Committee: it was agreed that the present Committee be re-elected.

Subscriptions: it was proposed by A S Dowden, seconded by M F Fairfax, that the subscription for 1974 be fifty pence for members, with a reduction to twenty-five pence for children aged sixteen years or less on 31st December 1974.

Regular ringing arrangements: after a general discussion it was agreed that weekly ringing arrangements should alternate between Saturday evenings and a weekday practice to coincide with the regular practice of local bands. In addition, quarterly ringing to be arranged:

  1. for the first quarter Saturday — three towers during an afternoon;
  2. for the first half-year Saturday — and ringing competition as previously arranged by the Guild;
  3. for the second quarter Saturday — three towers arranged during an afternoon;
  4. for the year end Saturday — a ringing competition. The Competition to allow for awarding the silver cup and silver shield if available.

The Meeting was closed by H O Hart, who thanked the ladies for the tea