Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers

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From the Archives (100 years ago)

In accordance with the agreement reached at the Committee Meeting held on 25th September 1914 (as reproduced in July's Newsletter), no Autumn Meeting was held. There was no further meeting until 16th April 1915, when the Committee met to discuss the future Annual Meeting at Campden, which was held on 20th May 1915. The Minutes referring to these meetings will be reproduced in the April 2015 Newsletter. These Minutes really do allow us to relive what was happening in our area and to our ringing forebears in the light of ‘The Great European War' as it was described then.


From the Archives 40 years ago

Bumper crop of old Minutes this time, making up for the dearth of such 40 years ago last time.

Committee meeting held on Tuesday 8th October 1974 at the Red Lion, Chipping Campden.

Present:H O Hart, Chairman, A J Brazier, C E Evans, M Fairfax, S C Holden, and Revd. R F Rother

Apologies:There were no apologies.

Minutes of previous meeting: the Minutes of the previous meeting held on 18th March 1974 were read, confirmed and signed by the Chairman.

Ringing Outing: The Secretary reported on the arrangements for the ringing outing on 12th October.

Ringing Competition: the Secretary reported that arrangements for ringing competition at Offenham on 26th October were in hand, and that they would broadly follow the previous programme. It was decided to ask the same judges to act for the two competitions held in the same year, and the Secretary was asked to contact Messrs Arthur and Andrew Jopp to request them to judge the October competition. Representatives of the only two teams to enter the April competition, H O Hart and S C Holden, agreed to put forward, for consideration by their teams, a suggestion that all teams entering for the 1974 October competition be eligible to compete for the silver trophy. Chipping Campden and Bledington would use the higher set of marks from the April or October competitions.

Annual General Meeting: Arrangements for the Annual General Meeting to follow the Ringing Competitions was discussed and approved. Subscriptions: it was agreed to recommend the present subscriptions to continue for 1975.

Amendment to Rules: it agreed to recommend that the following addition to the rules be made. Membership – new class: (iv) Non-resident Ringing Member. A ringer normally residing outside the area covered by the Guild, otherwise to be eligible and elected as Ringing Members. Members in this class shall not exceed one-fifth of the current membership under class (i) and shall not be entitled to vote at meetings of the Guild.

Accounts: the accounts to be submitted for approval showed a balance in hand as at 31st December 1973 of £11-75 being mainly subscriptions for 1974 paid in advance.

Dinner:Arrangements were left with the Chairman and Secretary.

The meeting was then closed by the Chairman.

(Signed) Henry O Hart
4th Feb 1975



Annual General Meeting held on Saturday 26th October 1974 at the Village Hall, Offenham, Mr H O Hart, Guild Master, Chairman.

Apologies: Apologies were received from S C Holden and Revd R F Rothery.

Minutes of Previous Meeting: The Minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting held on 27th October were read and confirmed, and signed by the Chairman.

Confirmation of Election of Members: the Secretary reported that there were forty paid-up Ringing Members of the Guild.

Secretary's Report for 1973: In a brief report, the Secretary recorded that Saturday practices had proceeded to the end of 1973 covering many towers and attended by ringers from both within the Guild area and the surrounding Association Branches. These practices were continuing during 1974.

Treasurer's Report for 1973: With the Guild recommencing activities from 1st January 1974, the main item to report is the receipt of 1974 subscriptions in advance amounting to £10-75.

Adoption of Reports: It was agreed that the reports be adopted.

Election of President and Vice-Presidents. It was agreed to leave these positions vacant.

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

Secretary & Treasurer: Proposed by H O Hart, seconded by J W Nicholls, that A J Brazier be elected. Carried.

Auditors: It was agreed to leave the appointment of Auditors to the Committee.

Committee: Proposed by R Canning, seconded by B Castle that the following Members be elected to the Committee: C E Evans, M J Fairfax, G R Harper, S C Holden, and Revd R F Rothery. Carried.

Subscriptions: It was agreed that subscriptions for 1975 shall be fifty pence, reduced to twenty-five pence for children aged sixteen years or less on 31st December 1975. A suggestion from R Canning that membership application forms be provided was accepted.

Addition to the Rules: Proposed by J W Nicholls, seconded by B Castle, that the following amendment to the Rules be made under the heading ‘Membership' after ‘…. to the Secretary'. (iv) Extra Terrestrial Members. Ringers normally residing and ringing outside the area covered by the Guild – and shall be elected on the Proposition of a Ringing Member, seconded by an Officer of the Guild. Such election shall be formally notified to the next Annual General Meeting. The number of Members elected under this class shall not exceed one-quarter of the number of current members in class (i) and shall be elected annually.

Badges: One of the existing Four Shires Guild badges was shown to the meeting and discussions took place concerning provision of badges. It was agreed to leave the matter for consideration by the Committee.

Votes of Thanks: Prior to commencement of the Meeting, the Guild Master thanked Revd and Mrs W A Bates for conducting and assisting with the Ringers' Service. Revd Bates thanked the ladies for providing the teas.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 7.00pm.

(Signed) Henry O Hart,

25th October 1975

It seems very strange to see subscriptions at 50 pence and cash in the bank of £11-75. What piffling amounts, you might say. However, the internet says that amounts have risen exactly tenfold through inflation since 1974, so 50p is £5 and £11.75 is £117.50. The present subscription rate is £5, so that one matches inflation perfectly. The Guild has (thankfully) much more than £117.50 in hand, because the stripling Guild was starting from scratch in 1974 and the present Guild has more events and more liabilities (eg insurances and other overheads) than the Guild of 1974.

It's very interesting to see what happened in the past and the levels of subscriptions and other costs at those times. The financial impact of the present £5 sub is exactly the same as 1974 – and there was no Newsletter four times a year then either. Ed