Not to have Rob Harvey with us will seem very strange. The "Grand Old Man" has been with us forever, and in many ways that is true. He learnt to ring at Whichford when he was 11, so he managed 85 years of ringing. A good score by any measure. Those of us who've notched up 50 years on the end of a rope think we’ve done well, but compared with 85 years - hah! we're still on the gentler slopes. Read the article about Rob on p.6
My apologies for the lateness of the Newsletter this time. I had to concentrate on some private stuff in this period and the Newsletter had to be pushed into the background. C'est la vie sometimes.
It is good to be able to report the filling of the outstanding vacancies on the Committee and other posts. Firstly, Matthew Kemble has been co-opted onto the Committee; and secondly the Child Protection Officer's post has been filled by Chris Mew. Matthew is now well known throughout the Guild, so he's unlikely to need much introduction. Chris Mew definitely needs no introduction - he's currently the President of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. Additionally, he has fronted for many years now Child Protection discussions with the various national bodies on behalf of the CCCBR. Thank you Matthew and Chris for coming on board.
The Guild's accounts show that we are still solvent and that things look positive for the future. We continue to drive down the cost of publishing the Newsletter (one of the major costs), and the Committee agreed at the last meeting (see Committee Notes) that the new flat rate for printing on home printers will shave a bit more off the overall cost in the longer term. Thank you for the accounts, Michael Dane, and to the intrepid accounts examiners, Mike Fairfax and Trevor Hobday. Additionally, a number of new members were reported to the Committee at its last meeting.
The Chaplain's Thoughts contain some useful advice. I particularly liked the last paragraph. The problem of complaints is on-going at Temple Guiting, where a new family with young children moved into the Old Rectory, which is only a few yards from the Church. Since being augmented to 6 the bells have received increased use. Unfortunately, the belfry windows are large and the louvres are set at a shallow angle, so they point directly at the house. The bells are at louvre level, too, so the house gets it with both barrels. The children can't sleep and there has been a stand-off for a while. An interim arrangement between the PCC and the family is in place, but it's not totally OK. A scheme to install soundproofing in the relevant bell windows has been designed and - this is the very important bit - has been submitted to the Diocese for its approval. All works involving the fabric should have diocesan approval, otherwise the PCC may be forced to reverse all at their expense if the work is unacceptable.
The Newsletter's items are becoming biased towards the western side of the Guild. Some articles from the eastern side are needed! There are some wonderfully articulate, literate members over there (thank you for your contribution, Trevor). I'm sure there are lots of things to write about… please… It would balance things up.
I usually need to apologise for some inaccuracies in the Newsletter. I need to apologise again. In the Jan mag I suggested the Q of Plain Bob Cinques was the first 12-bell quarter peal for the Guild, unless you knew otherwise, of course - and of course somebody did. That somebody was Chris Mew, who gave me details of three 12-bell quarters that were rung with almost all the band being Guild members. These were Qs of Grandsire Cinques in March 1993, Little Bob Maximus in August 1993 and Stedman Cinques in 1995. That was bad enough, but it worse because they were rung at Evesham; and even worse to find I'd rung in all of them. Am I losing my memory…. or just getting old? (Is that what happens El Pres?)
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.)