Martley Guild AGM Minutes

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                                      MARTLEY DISTRICT CHANGE RINGERS GUILD
			               Life President: Richard FB Speed
   Master:  Martin Curren
   Prickley Green Farm, Martley, Worcester WR6 6QQ
   01886 888300


Members Present			       Apologies for absence		   
Robert Browne	Broadwas		Pauline Lowe	Astley	   
Helen Peberdy  	Droitwich, St Peter	Brenda Williams	Astley	   
Phil Bullock	Grimley	        	Mike Snelling	Clifton	   
Margaret Bayliss	Hallow		Jenny Walton      	Droitwich, St Peter	   
Jenny Beacham	Hallow	        	Barbara Richards	Grimley	   
Jim Heasman	Hallow		        David Mountford	Hallow	   
Ted Showell	Hallow		        Geoff Munslow	Hallow	   
Janet Stallard	Hallow		        Maureen Munslow	Hallow	   
Martin Stallard	Hallow		        Tim Munslow	Hallow	   
Jim Wheeler	Hallow		        Roger Tyrrell	Shrawley	   
Gordon Wood	Hallow		        John Westwood	Shrawley	   
Terry Ellard	Leigh		        Mary Westwood	Shrawley	   
Chris Phillips	Leigh		        Ivor Bramich	Suckley	   
Martin Curren	Martley		        Janet Craddock	Suckley	   
John Haydon	Martley		        Christine Hayes	Suckley	   
Lyn Wheeler	Martley		        Annie Burge	Unattached	   
David Wood	Ombersley		Jeff Webb	Unattached	   
Rosemary Hart	Shelsley				   
Eleanor Baber	Shrawley		Stewart Holbeche	W&DCRA Master	   
Chris Martin	Shrawley		Louise Hamilton-	W’ster All Saints/	   
Pam Ashford	Suckley		                     Glover	W Branch Master	   
Sid Ashford	Suckley		        Also Present		   
Brian Taylor	Suckley		        Charles Hardy	Leigh	   
Linda Taylor	Suckley		        Robert Bayliss	Arley Kings	   
David Beacham	Unattached		Mark Regan	W’ster Cathedral	 

The Rev Andrew Bullock, Rector of Leigh Alfrick and Suckley, took the Chair. He welcomed Members. 

Loss of  Members through death

The Secretary said that there had been no deaths amongst the current membership. 
However, the Master recorded the tragic deaths of Sue and Rob Bates, active members of the Guild until 2006,
in a motorcycle accident in Spain. Sue had been a Committee member; and Rob had been Tower captain of Broadwas.
A short silence was held and the Chairman offered prayers. 
A Guild donation of £50 had been sent to The Anthony Nolan Trust in their memory. 

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting 2006

The Minutes, having been displayed in all Towers and circulated to unattached members, were taken as read. 
Chris Phillips asked for a small amendment to the Leigh tower report, which was agreed. 
Adoption proposed by Ted Showell and seconded by Bob Browne: record copy to be signed later by the Master,
after amendment. 

Matters Arising

There were no matters arising that were not covered by the Agenda. 

Election of New Members

The Secretary recorded election of new members at Committee meetings since the last AGM:
20 Feb 07	Robert Davis		Clifton		20 Sep 07	Margaret Bayliss	Hallow
		Marina Dixon		Clifton				Joe Crocker		Martley
		Neil Parkinson		Clifton				Sue Crocker		Martley
		Peter Pheysey		Clifton				Brian Taylor		Suckley
		Phillip Prince		Clifton
		Jack Wittenbury	Clifton
Nominations were then taken from the floor:
		Robert Bayliss		Unattached   	Prop: Jim Wheeler	Sec:  John Haydon
		Charles Hardy		Leigh	         	Prop: Chris Phillips	Sec: Martin Curren
		Mark Regan		Unattached   	Prop: Jim Wheeler	Sec: David Wood
All, being paid-up members of the Worcestershire & Districts Change Ringing Association, were declared elected. 

Master’s Report 2006/7

The Master thanked those present for supporting the AGM, particularly unattached members. 
He hoped that they would make it a lively meeting. He paid tribute to the Committee for its hard work, 
especially during his own absence on business. 

Martin said that, following the discussion at the 2006 AGM, he had set three objectives, 
emphasising that it was crucial to measure whether or not they were being achieved. 
He hoped members would forgive all the extra questions they had been asked during the year for this purpose. 
The objectives were:

To improve the ringing of existing members. As Jenny would report later, much emphasis had been placed on this; 
and continuing improvement was apparent.
To maximise Sunday ringing in all towers. 
Every tower has had bells rung for service more than once; and many every Sunday, 
but there was still much scope for improvement.
To promote the Guild to new recruits.
New recruits had been found; and had been worked hard, but remained enthusiastic. 
Towers needed regularly to promote themselves and their role if  numbers were not to decline as per
a News report read by Phil Bullock. 

Towers should also promote the role of the Guild itself: that of getting people out to support others. 
Although turnout at Guild practices had been generally good, it still seemed difficult to get some members 
out of their own towers. We had taken ringing to the members, but failed as yet to take members to the ringing. 

Later reports would cover the year’s activity in detail, but he wanted particularly to highlight:

The Cathedral visit on 4 June, including a tour of the “upper reaches”. 
The view across Worcestershire had been magnificent.
He thanked Mark Regan and the other Cathedral ringers who had helped. Mark had said that another visit 
would be welcomed and he intended to make sure that one was arranged. 

The Guild Outing on 30 June, to the Cotswolds. An excellent day, though a nightmare to organise. 
He praised Fred and Janet Stallard for their perseverance against adversity.
The Guild Social and Picnic on 23 September, with ringing at Shelsley followed by a ramble to Martley
for more ringing and a picnic. Even rain did not dampen the spirits.

Martin was glad that enthusiasm within the Guild remained high and that there was such camaraderie
between a disparate group of people – ranging from complete beginners, through those who 
‘are just happy to ring what they can ring’, to real masters of the art. 
He hoped to reinforce this by the Committee’s response to the membership questionnaire that Jenny Beacham had circulated.
He encouraged everyone to fill it in.  

Treasurer’s Report 2006/7

Rosemary Hart presented the audited Accounts for the year to 30 September 2007 (appended), 
noting that the Guild was not asked to provide sponsorship for the Hereford Ringing Course, 
so the only expenditure was the memorial tribute for Sue and Rob Bates. The financial situation was healthy, 
despite a rather slow income of subscriptions, some of which were still outstanding. 
She offered thanks to Robert Garman for again acting as Auditor.
Proposed by Jim Wheeler, seconded David Wood, that that the Accounts be adopted. 
Jim also noted, and offered thanks, that Officers did not claim any expenses for their work. 
Ringing Steward’s Report 2006/7

Jenny recorded that Guild practices had been arranged slightly differently from previous years. 
Instead of a monthly practice at each of the 11 towers that belong to the Guild, the Committee 
had decided to target just 5 of the towers, which could then be given two practices during the year, 
to help bring them on. These towers were: Astley, Clifton, Ombersley, Suckley and Shrawley and there 
was also one practice at Leigh. (In addition, Committee meetings continued to be held at Clifton, 
supporting their fledgling band.)  The practices were well supported with an average attendance of 15 people, 
the highest number being 21 at Shrawley in May.

The 8 bell practices were again held at Hallow when there was a 5th Wednesday in the month. 
They had been very well attended apart from in August, reflecting holidays.

Special practices were also arranged. These were: 

A training morning at Clifton in May  - Plain Hunt to Bob Doubles- at which there were 10 students and 6 helpers. 
Advanced Minor evenings in April and July at Shrawley at which Bob Minor, Little Bob, Kent and Cambridge were rung.  
In September, instead of Guild practice at Ombersley, a theory evening: something not done before, but attracting
a good response, with18 people attending and favourable reviews. Thanks go to David Wood for organizing the very 
suitable church rooms.  

Jenny said she sees her role as Ringing Steward as observing, and taking an interest in, 
what people ring and what they want to ring; and then advising the Committee to organise practices and 
special sessions that are useful to members. With all Guild activities, feedback from members was essential, 
hence the questionnaire that she had put out to gain responses to current provision and to gather ideas for the future.  
The Chairman asked what was being done to attract and train younger ringers. 
Mark Regan took this opportunity to update members on the Cathedral training facilities, 
which he said were freely available to the Guild and should be taken advantage of.
The Teaching Centre set up in the Clock Room at the Cathedral would be fully ready by December. 
Two dumb bells were in use and another four being hung. Ringers could now, through the computer system, 
practice any method with a surrounding ‘perfect’ band to support them; all sound coming through their headphones. 
The Centre should increase accessibility to all and raise standards amongst existing ringers. 

To bring on young ringers, Bishop Perowne and Kings Schools were already using this facility, 
which they could integrate with mainstream subjects such as Maths and Music. However, in weight terms, 
the ring was only suitable for 12 years and up. Proposals to install a lighter set – 8 bells to 6 cwt – in 
Old St Martins in Worcester city centre were now well advanced, with the Faculty application made and both 
church and secular authorities very supportive. This facility could be targeted down to 8/9 year olds. Hopefully, 
it would be ready in Spring 2008. 

Mark also paid tribute to the training work that Jim Wheeler was undertaking at Hallow. 

Records Secretary’s Report 2006/7

Lyn said that it was a pleasure to present her first report as Records Secretary.  
The Peal statistics showed that a few towers had been busy, but some historically active as 
Peal ringers had been far less so in 2007. 

	Peals	Qtrs		Peals	Qtrs	   
Astley	0	1	Martley	0	  5	   
Broadwas0	0 	Ombersley0	  1	   
Clifton	0	0	Shelsley0	  3	   
Grimley	0	0	Shrawley½	  0 	   
Hallow	0	0	Suckley	0	  2	   
Leigh	0	0	TOTAL	½	15	 
Quarter Peals had also been rung at Bromyard, Hanbury and Mathon by a combined band of Martley and Hallow Guild members. 

Although numbers were down, the mix of methods was expanding: 

Plain Bob Doubles	3   	   May Day Doubles	1	   
Grandsire Doubles	1	   Little Bob Minor	1	   
Grandsire + Plain Bob Doubles	1  Grandsire Triples	1	   
St Simon’s Doubles	1	   Plain Bob Major	1	   
Reverse Canterbury Doubles	2			   
Plain Bob Minor	3*	* inc the half Peal		   
All the above + St Martin’s Doubles	1			 

As always, some further information came from the floor, so the figures may be revised. 
Lyn repeated the plea for Towers to keep her fully informed. 

She had also been asked to keep a record of Sunday ringing within the Guild. Summarised, 
the figures showed that regular ringing had taken place at most towers; the exceptions being Astley, 
Leigh, Shelsley Beauchamp and, of late, Broadwas. Ringing at Shrawley had now fully resumed after repair work.     

Lyn said that David Mountford had kindly donated to the Guild a set of the framed prints of the original 
eight Guild towers produced in 1983. These were available to the towers featured, or to those wishing to 
complete a partial set. 

She had also reworked and expanded the Guild scrapbooks, which were on display at the AGM. 

Election of Officers for 2007/8

The Chairman said that all Officers and Members were prepared to stand again, except Rosemary Hart, 
who wished to stand down as Treasurer, and Brenda Williams, who had only returned to the Committee 
temporarily as an extra Member to assist the Secretary. Janet Stallard was happy to take on the role of Treasurer, 
but this would leave a vacancy for a Member. 

No new nominations had been notified to the Secretary. The Chairman invited other nominations from the 
floor for all posts. One new Member was nominated. Thus, the following being properly proposed and seconded unopposed, 
the Chairman declared them elected:

Position	Nominee	                Proposer	Seconder	   
Master	        Martin Curren	        C Martin	T Showell	   
Deputy Master	Martin Stallard   	L Wheeler	J Wheeler	   
Treasurer	Janet Stallard	        C Martin	L Taylor	   
Secretary       Chris Martin	        L Taylor	R Hart	   
Records Secretary Lyn Wheeler	        T Showell	J Haydon	   
Ringing Steward	 Jenny Beacham	        L Taylor	P Bullock	   
Member	         Margaret Bayliss       M Stallard	J Beacham	   
Member	         Linda Taylor	        J Wheeler	R Browne	   
Hon Auditor	Robert Garman	        R Hart  	P Bullock	 

The Master recorded the thanks of the Guild to Rosemary for her years as Treasurer; 
and to Brenda for another stint on Committee. The Secretary offered personal thanks to Brenda, 
who had covered for him at two Committee meetings. 

Programme for 2008

The Master said that detail of the 2008 programme would be confirmed when all responses to the questionnaire were in. 
However, provisionally, he had timetabled

April: 		another Theory Session
May: 		a ringing and tour visit to Worcester Cathedral
7 June: 	Guild Social – a trip on the Severn Valley Railway, with a couple of ringing stops. 
28 June: 	Ringing Outing – probably around Oxford

Details of the Guild practice pattern, eight bell practices and Special practices would be filled in as soon as possible, 
but his initial impression was that the shape used in 2007 had been successful and could be repeated. 

Hereford Ringing Course 2008

The Master noted that the Course would be held as usual in the week after Easter, which was very early in 2008, 
so he expected the Course to run from 27-30 March. He encouraged applications for places and advised members to 
act speedily once the invitation was published in Ringing World. Financial support from the Guild was proposed; 
and an enabling motion tabled on behalf of the Committee by the Secretary was adopted unanimously:
“This meeting agrees that the Committee may at its discretion provide financial support from Guild funds to any 
Member attending, as a learner, the Hereford Ringing Course 2008; with priority to be given to reimbursement of 
Course Fees and up to a total maximum expenditure of £300.”

David Beacham reminded members that assistance from the Sarah Beacham Memorial Fund was also available, 
for both this and other purposes. 

Tower Reports 2006/7

Astley still had only three home ringers and relied heavily on Shrawley. Because of organisational problems there, 
very little Service ringing or practising was taking place. The pigeon problem was now rectified and the bells were 
in good condition. The re-roofing work due to start in 2008 should not affect ringing. 

Broadwas had no home ringers, but Bob Browne was very grateful to visitors from Suckley, Leigh, Hallow, 
Penscombe (Hereford Guild) and elsewhere for support with regular practices. Service ringing remained difficult 
because those peoples’ prior commitments. The bells were in good condition.  

Clifton was in good shape, with eight home ringers covering every Sunday service, with weekly practices. 
The level of expertise was rising, though they were still very grateful for visiting support for special services. 
The Committee had continued to join them at practice before its own meetings. The bells were in good condition and 
subject to an annual professional inspection.
Grimley still had only two home ringers and relied on Hallow to support Service ringing once a month. However, 
they too had many visitors for practices and had hosted many tour parties during the year. Thanks to Gordon Wood, 
who had carried out the bell maintenance: their condition was good. 

Hallow was making steady progress with its larger band; and was now able to ring Triples for services, 
all of which were covered. However, average age was high and the Tower Captain had appealed for new ringers, 
both at a morning service and via the Parish Magazine. This had brought one experienced ringer new to the locality, 
but no new blood, which was unfortunate when Jim Wheeler was delivering excellent regular training sessions for 
learners from elsewhere. Tim’s report stressed that visitors were welcome at all practices, 
not just the fifth Wednesday ones. 
The bells were in good condition. 

Leigh had seven active members: Chris apologised that prior commitments had stopped more of them being present 
to host the AGM. They rang for service every second Sunday. The bells were safe, but not going as well as they had been: 
some work was needed. as acceptable, but some work was needed. Thanks were given to all visitors who had helped out. 
Martley a strong band and was steadily widening its range of methods. All services were covered and they were 
gald to help out elsewhere when possible. The bells were in good condition. 

Ombersley was quietly stable. Its learners had progressed well into Doubles methods. 
Weekly Sunday service ringing was covered and there were regular practices. 
The new ropes still had too much stretch, but the bells themselves were good. 

Shelsley still had no home ringers. There were no practices and one Sunday service per month was covered 
by Droitwich St Peter and Martley. The bells were best described as “interesting”.  

Shrawley had not rung until Easter, except for one scheduled half peal for charity, 
because of changes in/increases to the re-roofing project which had kept the church closed. 
Practices has been spasmodic until Autumn, but were now back to weekly, 
though all services and a number of Weddings had been covered – the latter with outside help.  
Joint operation with the Astley ringers continued, giving a pool of seven, which was barely enough, 
but had improved the ability to ring Doubles without a cover bell ! The band had gained second place 
in the W Branch Striking Competition. The bells were in good condition. 

Suckley ringers had been devastated by the news of Sue and Rob Bates; 
and had rung a half-muffled Quarter in their memory. 
Pam and Sid Ashford still travelled out regularly from Worcester to support them; 
and they had a new member in Brian Taylor, thanks to Jim Wheelers’ teaching:  
but Service ringing and practices had been irregular and the help of visitors 
was much appreciated. Thanks went also to Ivor Bramich, who continued to maintain the bells in good condition. 
Ringing would cease altogether after Christmas for an unspecified period during tower repairs; 
and it had been though prudent to transfer the November 2007 Guild practice to Hallow. 

Other Business

Identifying church locations
David Beacham noted that churches did not generally have postcodes because they were not on Post Office delivery rounds. 
However, nearby properties did and, given the increasing reliance of Emergency Services and others on satellite 
navigation systems that used a postcode input, it was desirable that this nearby postcode was known to tower members 
(and other church officials) and was displayed in the church itself.  The Master commended the suggestion to all. 

Vote of Thanks
Chris Phillips proposed formal thanks to
Rev Bullock for taking the Service and Chairing the AGM
The Secretary for playing the organ at the Service
Linda Taylor and others from Suckley and Hallow for stepping into the breach at very short notice to 
produce the excellent Tea. 

Date of next Annual General Meeting

The meeting was scheduled for 1st November 2008 at Grimley. 

The meeting closed with Prayers and Grace at 1920.

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