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Central Branch AGM, 12th January 2013

Ringing started at St. Andrew's, Heckington at 3:00pm. Ringing ranged from Rounds & Call Changes to Plain and Little Bob, Grandsire Triples and half a course of Cambridge.

Ringing at St. Andrew's
Ringing at St. Andrew's

Just before 4:30pm we made our way down to the church and sat in the pews for the service, led by the Reverend Chris Harrington. It was a somewhat unusual service with a variety of bellringing hymns, including "Ding dong merrily on high" and "Lifted gently to the steeple". The main points of interest were a "Michael Parkinson" style interview with Les Townsend and Bob Hodges (a local ringer) on what got them started in bellringing and the singing of Pete Seeger's "If I had a hammer", accompanied by the vicar on the guitar. This seems to be a recurring theme (guitar playing vicars), because the vicar of Swinderby did the same at the Central Branch Carol Service. The organ was played enthusiastically by John Lyon who played Boellmann's Toccata after the service.

Assembling for the service
The members have tea in the Village Hall

After the service we left the church and made our way round the corner to the Village Hall for sandwiches and cake and lots of tea and coffee. After the 100 club draw and and raffle, the meeting was started.

The President, Sylvia Taylor, opened the meeting by welcoming the members of which there were many, including some from other branches. She thanked the Revd. Chris Harrington for taking the service, John Lyon for his excellent playing of the organ and the local band for organising the use of the bells. There was then a minutes silence in memory of Central Branch members who had passed away in the previous year, these being Phil Pitchford (Cathedral), Beryl Radley (Dunholme), Jean Sims (Welton, Dunholme, Scothern) and Des Underwood (Swinderby)

After the apologies for absence the meeting moved onto the minutes of the previous AGM. These were approved, along with reports by the Secretary and Treasurer.

The meeting now turned to the election of officers. The main points of interest here were that Sylvia Taylor was standing down as President and Paul Jackman and Sandra Underwood were standing down as committee members.

Mrs. Margaret Parker was elected as the new President and therefore was no longer wishing to stand as Guild Committee Rep. Therefore Mrs. Heather Blacklock was elected to the position of Guild Committee Rep. Mr. Stan Underwood and Mrs. Susan Waterfall were elected as committee members. All other officers remained the same. The new list officers is therefore as follows.

President: Margaret Parker
Treasurer: Dot Mason
Secretary: Fiona Dawson
Ringing Master: Richard Spencer
Safeguarding Officer: Jonathan Clark
Guild Fund Raising Rep: Christine Jackson
Guild Committee Rep: Heather Blacklock
Committee members: Stan Underwood, John Nicholson, Susan Waterfall & Mick Stracey
Account Examiners: Alan Haines & John Carr

Several new members were then elected to the Guild, some of these being young ringers.

The Guild Master addresses the members

The Ringing Master then gave his report and outlined the events list for the coming year. This was a varied program, with a joint meeting with the Northern Branch, a Bell Foundry coach trip and a Conductor's Course. Hackthorn is unfortunately unavailable for the Quiz Night in November, so an alternative venue will have to be found. Also there was a general concensus among the members that the "Ring for your Supper" event should become a Barbaque event.

Under Any Other Business, apart from a couple of minor points the main item of interest was the Guild Questionnaire which the Guild President (Alan Payne) discussed with the members. This questionnaire will be going on the website shortly and members are urged to at least fill in some if not all of it. There are several working groups looking at various aspect of the working of the Guild and a representative from each group was present at the meeting if members wished to discuss any aspect of the questionnaire after the meeting.

The retiring President declared the meeting closed.

After having cleared the hall, the members reassembled in the ringing room for more ringing until 9:00pm

All in all a very successful meeting with a good attendance. Many thanks to the Heckington Ringers and all the others who worked hard to make it an enjoyable evening.

Jonathan Clark (webmaster)