Martley Guild AGM Minutes

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                               Master:  Martin Curren
		      	Prickley Green Farm, Martley, Worcester WR6 6QQ
			            01886 888300


Members Present			Apologies for absence		   
Robert Browne	Broadwas	Barbara Richards Grimley	   
Mike Snelling	Clifton		Tim Munslow	Hallow	   
Phil Bullock	Grimley		Martin Curren	Martley	   
Robert Garman	Grimley		Eleanor Baber	Shrawley	   
Margaret Bayliss Hallow		Ivor Bramich	Suckley	   
Bob Bayliss	Hallow		Christine Hayes	Suckley	   
Jenny Beacham	Hallow		Helen Peberdy   Unattached	   
David Mountford	Hallow		Jenny Walton    Unattached	   
Ted Showell	Hallow				   
Janet Stallard	Hallow				   
Martin Stallard	Hallow				   
Jim Wheeler	Hallow				   
Gordon Wood	Hallow				   
Chris Phillips	Leigh				   
Joe Crocker	Martley				   
Sue Crocker	Martley				   
Lyn Wheeler	Martley				   
David Wood	Ombersley				   
Chris Martin	Shrawley				   
John Westwood	Shrawley				   
Pam Ashford	Suckley				   
Sid Ashford	Suckley	        	Also Present		   
Linda Taylor	Suckley	        	Alan Roberts	Worc Assn Master	   
David Beacham	Unattached      	Martyn Hills	Worc WBranch Master	   
Gladys Clements	Unattached       	Iris Checketts	Hartlebury	   
John Clements	Unattached       	Tony Checketts	Hartlebury	   
Louise Hamilton- Glover	Unattached	Gill Roberts	Rowley Regis	   
Mark Regan	Unattached				   
Brenda Williams	Unattached				 

In the Master’s absence, Deputy Master Martin Stallard took the Chair. 

Loss of  Members through death

The Chairman recorded the sad death, after a long period of declining health, 
of the Guild’s Life President, RFB (Dick) Speed. He had been a member of the Guild since 1979, 
and was Master from 1986-1996, retiring from the post after his 70th birthday! 
He was invited to become Life President in 2003. He was a nationally-well-known and -respected ringer, 
for many years a Central Council Member and co-author of teaching books for ringers.  He would be much missed.
The Chairman also recorded with regret the death of Mary Walker (Broadwas). 
She had joined the Guild only months after its formation, so was one of its longest-serving members. 
Although it was some time since she had been an active ringer, 
she had continued to support Guild activities until her poor health of the last couple of years. 
She would be fondly remembered. 

The meeting observed a brief silence in memory of them both. 

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting 2007
The Minutes, having been displayed in all Towers and circulated to unattached members, 
were taken as read. No amendments were sought. Adoption was proposed by David Wood and seconded by Ted Showell. 
With all in favour, they were signed by the Chairman. 

Matters Arising

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

Election of New Members

No new members had been elected at Committee meetings during the year. 
David Wood proposed from the floor election of two members, Iris and Tony Checketts, 
who were current Northern Branch members (Hartlebury) but were ringing regularly at Ombersley. 
Ted Showell seconded and they were declared elected. 

Master’s Report 2007/8

Unfortunately, Secretary had not received the written report from the Master, 
who was travelling in Asia. The Chairman, therefore, briefly recorded the main activities of the year:

12 May - another Worcester Cathedral visit, this time with a tour of the crypt; 
plus ringing and a chance to try out the new teaching system. 
Thanks were due to Mark Regan for organisation. 

7 June - the Severn Valley trip, a walk upriver and return by SVR, 
with ringing at Bewdley and Arley, had been much enjoyed by its 20+ participants and was 
clearly a format that could be repeated. 

28 June - the annual Ringing Outing had attracted similar numbers and had been an excellent 
day around Warwickshire, perfectly rounded off by the visit to Coventry Cathedral.
24 July - over 20 people also favoured the Evening Outing, which rung at Earls Croome and Ripple. 
Again, this format seemed worth repeating. 

He also noted that a Guild website had been created during the year and was now fully operational. 
It was the primary method of communicating with members and included all event notices, 
committee minutes and other matters of interest.  

Treasurer’s Report 2007/8

Janet Stallard presented the audited Accounts for the year to 30 September 2008 (appended). 
The balance was much as 2006. The main items were related to the Guild’s sponsored Quarter Peal 
round in aid of the Old St Martins Bell Fund Appeal. This had raised £240  - and further events 
could still be arranged ! The Committee had decided to put the surplus from the annual 
Outing to the same cause. Separately, the Committee had agreed to donate £50 to charity 
in memory of Dick Speed. The Secretary had discussed options with his family, 
who had decided that they would like this sum, also, to go to the St Martins Appeal. 
Mark Regan would thank them formally for that. 
Janet offered thanks to Robert Garman for again acting as Auditor.

Proposed by Jenny Beacham, seconded David Wood, that that the Accounts be adopted. Agreed unanimously. 

 Ringing Steward’s Report 2007/8

Jenny noted that, in 2007 and 2008, the eleven practices had been focused on a limited number of Guild towers. 
Generally, practice attendance had been good, but it was mostly the same group of faces. 
The aim of the practices is to support ringing at all towers in the Guild; 
encouraging members to go out and ring at different towers and with different people, 
from which all benefit. It should be especially helpful to learners; who gain experience 
and learn from learners elsewhere that their difficulties are far from unique! 
All our towers welcome visitors, whatever their level of expertise; 
and it is something to be encouraged by all members. There are also Western Branch practices, 
which help similarly: and the Hereford Course is very good value. 

Three special practices were held in 2008: in March, Minor Methods at Martley; in April, 
a Basic Theory and Practice morning at Clifton; and in May, the visit to the Cathedral Teaching Centre. 
All were very successful.

Jenny said that the 2009 Guild Practice calendar would be issued shortly and would return 
to including visits to all towers. 5th Wednesday 8-bell practices at Hallow would continue. 
Special practices were being planned: details available later. 

Records Secretary’s Report 2007/8

Lyn said that since the last AGM there had been a total of 28 Quarter Peals and 1 Peal: 
the latter being Plain Bob Minor at Shrawley to celebrate Mary Westwood’s birthday and, 
in memory of Anne Ballard, to raise money for Acorns Hospice, her favourite charity. 
A total of £212.12 was collected.  

The Quarter Peal analysis was: 

	Qtrs		Qtrs	   
Astley	 0	Martley	  6	   
Broadwas 0	Ombersley 1	   
Clifton	 2	Shelsley  3	   
Grimley	 1	Shrawley  4	   
Hallow	 6	Suckley	  1	   
Leigh	 1	TOTAL	  25	 
Quarters had also been rung at Kingstone (1) and Mathon (2) by a combined band of Hallow, 
Martley and Suckley Guild members. 

Some new (to the Guild) methods appeared in the mix: 

Plain Bob Doubles	9	Plain Bob Minor	  1	   
Grandsire Doubles	6	Cambridge Minor	  1	   
Stedman Doubles	        1       Erin Triples	  1	   
St Nicholas Doubles	1	Grandsire Triples 3	   
Eynesbury Bob Doubles	1	Plain Bob Major	  1	   
St Osmund Doubles	1	Little Bob Major  1	   
Huntley Place Doubles	1			 

The number of firsts included shows the level of enthusiasm in the Guild:

Plain Bob Major: Linda Taylor first inside
Little Bob Major: David Mountford, Fred Stallard, Jim Wheeler and Bob Bayliss first inside 
Plain Bob Minor: Alan Gosling first inside 
Plain Bob Doubles: Sue and Joe Crocker first Quarters, and Lucy Edwards first inside. 
Grandsire Doubles:  Pam Ashford and Chris Martin first inside 
Stedman Doubles: Fred Stallard  as conductor and Janet Stallard, Martin Curren and Lyn Wheeler first in the method 
The combined band of Martin Curren, Fred Stallard, Janet Stallard, 
Linda Taylor and Lyn Wheeler all scored their firsts in Eynesbury, Huntley Place and St Osmund.

Six towers hosted Quarters to raise funds for the Old St Martins Appeal, 
with each ringer contributing at least £5. Hopefully, other towers will continue this initiative, 
which has also been publicised to ringers outside the Guild. Quarters at Ombersley and Shrawley 
were dedicated to Dick Speed.

The Guild scrapbooks were on display at the AGM.

Election of Officers for 2008/9

The Secretary said that all Officers and Members were prepared to stand again; 
and that he had received no other nominations. 
Ted Showell proposed, and Chris Phillips seconded, that the current Officers and Committee members 
be re-elected en bloc. Carried unanimously.
Chris Martin proposed, and Linda Taylor seconded , that Bob Garman should continue as Auditor. 
Carried unaminously.

The Committee for 2009 is therefore:

Master	                Martin Curren	   
Deputy Master    	Martin Stallard	   
Treasurer         	Janet Stallard	   
Secretary	        Chris Martin	   
Records Secretary	Lyn Wheeler	   
Ringing Steward	        Jenny Beacham	   
Member	                Margaret Bayliss	   
Member            	Linda Taylor	   
Hon Auditor	Robert Garman	 

Guild Programme for 2009

The Chairman announced the key dates as
13 June - a Family event on the lines of the Severn Valley walk
4 July - Annual Ringing Outing, which would be to Oxford. Mark Regan was leading on the choice of towers
23 July - Evening Ringing Outing in the local area
There would be a Cambridge Minor practice at Suckley on 15 November. 
Monthly Practice dates and other Specials would be publicised through the Calendar and website.

Fred then announced that it was hoped to organise a ringing holiday in Ireland. 
The idea was very rough, but perhaps 7-10 days in September 2009, 
covering both the Province and the Republic. He asked if there was general interest; 
and gained enough from the floor to proceed. 
He proposed that a sub-committee including non-Committee members should be formed to develop plans; 
and that it should attend the 25 November Committee meeting at Clifton.  
Volunteers from the floor were Pam Ashford, Bob Bayliss and Linda Taylor. 
It was understood that Alan Gosling and John Haydon might also be prepared to join. 

Hereford Ringing Course 2009

The Chairman noted that the Course would be held as usual in the week after Easter; 
and that applications would probably be invited just after Christmas. Swift action was needed, 
as demand was always heavy. He noted that attendees in 2008 had not sought financial support from the Guild, 
but that two had been aided by the Sarah Beacham Memorial Fund, another source. 
However, the Secretary asked members to endorse the usual enabling motion:
"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 2009; 
with priority to be given to reimbursement of Course Fees and up to a total maximum expenditure of £300."

Agreed unanimously.

Tower Reports 2007/8

Astley had two ringers and worked in tandem with Shrawley to provide one practice and one rung service per month. 
There was no local interest. The bells were in good condition. 

Broadwas also had no local interest, but Bob Browne was very grateful for continued support from Suckley, 
Leigh, Hallow and Pencombe (Hereford Guild), providing regular practice and one Sunday service cover. 
The bells were in good condition.  

Clifton was in good shape, with seven ringers plus a learner covering every Sunday service, 
and with weekly practices. They needed outside input to progress and Guild support was very welcome. 
The bells were in good condition and had just had their annual inspection by Taylors.
Grimley still had only two home ringers and relied on Hallow to support Service ringing once a month. 
Bell condition was good. 

Hallow Tim Munslow had written that, with 14 in the band, Sunday service ringing was regular and good, 
although a couple of days had been missed from electrical problems and a (rare) shortage of ringers. 
Practices are fully-, if not over-, subscribed, with up to 23 people in the tower. 
It is challenge to give every person and every skill level a fair chance. from elsewhere. 
The Vicar had recently said that they should not ring on Sunday evenings unless there was a service: 
which was infrequently. This had limited Quarter Peal attempts. 
The bells were in good condition, although the sixth was out of action for a short period, waiting new bearings.  

Leigh had maintained its band of seven active ringers, but was struggling to get enough to ring regularly 
for Sunday service; and there were few practices. Chris was grateful to all who supported Weddings etc.  
He had done some maintenance work during the year and bell condition was fair.
Martley John Haydon had written that the tower was flourishing, with 11 active ringers, 
all making progress. Practices were good, especially with support from Hallow members. 
Dave Cropp continues to write new methods and a Quarter of his Martley Pears Doubles has now been rung 
(thanks to Fred Stallard for working out the calls). This and others are with Central Council for verification.
Ombersley had been able to ring for service every Sunday. The 11 members were making steady progress and 
David felt that the two Guild practices there had been helpful in providing ‘pilots’ for newcomers to methods. 
The bells were in good order, with a “Wheeler” clapper to the tenor; and David Mountford and Gordon Wood had 
helped to splice polyester midsections into the ropes (Thanks !). 

Shelsley’s  situation was unchanged. There were no practices and one Sunday service per month was 
covered by Droitwich St Peter and Martley..  

Shrawley was covering both its own Sunday services and, recently, helping out with one at Astley. 
Of the four learners, three were still in place and were ringing call changes on Sundays. 
Practices were good and the tower was again able to field its own Quarter peal band. 
Its team in the Western Branch Striking Competition had come fourth in the main event but, 
through some intriguing mathematics, second in the rise-and-fall competition. The bells were in good condition. 

Suckley tower rebuilding work had finished early in the year, but the band had only 7 members and 
they were struggling to cover services: although with everyone present they could tackle Stedman ! 
Practices had almost ceased during Pam’s convalescence after an operation. Linda was grateful that 
she and Sid still travelled over to keep the tower going. She thanked Ivor for maintenance work. 
A viewing platform was now provided in the bell chamber.  

Other Business

Teaching facilities
Mark Regan thanked the Guild for its continuing support for work both at the Cathedral and at Old St Martins. 
The latter was currently waiting on procedural matters at English Heritage and the Diocese. 
However, + John and the new Archdeacon were supportive - indeed + John was now Patron of the OSM Appeal, 
so he hoped for progress soon, with a target of installation during 2009. 
Plans were in hand to augment the Cathedral teaching ring to eight bells. 
Webcams would be put in the bell- and ringing- chambers to help increase public interest in bell-ringing. 
The facilities were for everyone, not just advanced ringers, so towers should be encouraged to take their 
whole bands. He confirmed that there would be no charge to Guild parties, 
but that prior arrangement was needed to ensure entry.

Guild members might also be interested in the Cathedral Outings: 
Feb/Mar by train to Liverpool Cathedral and 16 May to Buckfast Abbey. 

The Chairman said that the Committee wanted members’ views about the level of subscriptions, 
which had been unchanged for many years. Although there was no current cash shortage, 
around half the reserves were always earmarked for Hereford Course support: 
two heavy years there could empty the fund. It might be helpful to have a larger "cushion" so 
that other activity could be considered. 
After discussion, David Wood proposed doubling the subscription to £2 pa. 
Margaret Bayliss seconded and the meeting agreed unanimously. 
The new fee would be due from the next subscription round. 

Association Master’s Comments
Alan Roberts thanked the Guild for inviting him to the AGM. He hoped that some members 
would attend the Assn Annual Dinner on 14 November !
In 2009, at late May Bank Holiday, the Assn would host a Central Council Meeting. 
This was an international public event and would be supported by a programme of events for attendees. 
He hoped that the Guild stood ready to help with them if needed. 
Martyn Hills, Western Branch Master, added that members were welcome to the Branch practice at 
Hallow on 22 November; and the Branch AGM on 6 December at Claines. 

Vote of Thanks
Ted Showell proposed formal thanks to Reader Denise Pollard for taking the Annual Service; 
and to all who had helped provide Tea. He also thanked the Committee for its work throughout the year.

Date of next Annual General Meeting

The meeting was scheduled for 7th November 2009 at Shelsley, but this would be confirmed asap on the website.  

The meeting closed at 1910.

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