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Eastern Branch AGM - 28th January 2012

St. Peter & St. Paul, Ingoldmells

We arrived at about 11:15am and the bells were just being rung up at St Peter & St. Paul, Ingoldmells. A variety of methods were rung from Rounds and Call changes to Stedman, Grandsire and Plain Bob Major. Tea and coffee was served in the church from the church coffee shop.

Ringing prior to the service
The members in the church just after the service

The service commenced at 12:15pm and was led by the Revd. Frances Jeffries. She preached a sermon drawing on her own experiences as a teenager learning to ring, and on how ringing in its own right is service and worship for God. The lessons were read by Tom Freeston and Jonathan Clark. George Paul played the organ.

After the service we moved over to the church hall, where tea and coffee were served prior to the lunch. Lunch consisted of cottage pie with Pavlova for dessert.

The members enjoy lunch
The kitchen staff hard at work

After some more tea and coffee the President, Tom Freeston, thanked the vicar (Revd. Frances Jeffries) ahead of the meeting, since she had to leave. Then the 100 club was drawn.

Tom Freeston opened the meeting with a prayer, after which apologies for absence were taken.

The secretary (Julia Limage) read out the minutes of the last AGM, which were accepted as a true record. There were no matters arising.

The meeting then moved on to the election of new members, of which there was one.

The secretary then read her report. In general events were well supported, although the Evensong ringing at the Cathedral & the Quiz had not been successful due to a lack of numbers in August. This was largely due to members being away on holiday. It was suggested that having events in August should be carefully considered. Although the Eastern Branch had had a successful branch 6 bell striking competition, the participants were not available to compete in the Guild 6 bell final. However the Eastern Branch came 2nd in 8 bell Striking competition and were now inspired to knock the Central Branch off the top spot in 2012. Julia announced that she was standing down this year.

The Treasurer (Val Wild) had circulated her report ahead of the meeting. She thanked Rhoda Reynolds for inspecting the branch accounts. She pointed out that the annual subscription was unchanged this year at £10 for adults and £3 for ringers in full time education. Gift Aid forms were available to anyone who pays tax. Last year £100 was granted towards the cost of entering 3 Eastern Branch young ringers into the Ringing World National Youth Striking Competition in London. She mentioned that the team rang very well. Two grants had been made in 2011, these being a grant of £161 to Sibsey for a new rope and £65 to Hemingby for the repair of a wheel. The main branch fund raising event, The Sibsey BBQ raised £ 739.50 for the Belfry Repair Fund. The Quiz raised £117 and additional money was raised with the Guild Christmas Cards and Quiz Sheet. At the December meeting, a grant of £600 was granted to Frieston for the work done on the bells by Fred Pembleton. Since this was paid in January, it would appear in the 2012 accounts. The Treasurer's report was accepted by the members

Left to Right: Julia Limage, Tom Freeston & Val Wild

There was then a report from the Guild Committee Rep, Mick Smith. Ringing for the Jubilee and the Olympic Torch Relay were discussed. The Olympic Torch comes through the Eastern Branch and there was going to be various ringing, particularly at Boston Stump. There is a new procedure for filling out CRB forms. Members applying for (or renewing) their CRB should put down that they work within "all towers in the Lincoln Guild". This then means that essentially the CRB is "portable" from tower to tower. A question was asked from the floor on the applicability of the CRB if ringing was outside the Guild, such as a tower outing or branch tour.

There were no issues that needed to be raised by the Maintenance Team, so discussions moved on to Guild fundraising. Phil Ford outlined a different fundraising event to replace the quiz. He proposed a "Race Night". Videos of nine races would be shown on which you would be able to bet. The Tote system would be used like normal horse racing. People would need to bring their own drink. Additionally people would be persuaded to "buy" the horses and people (or towers) would be found to sponsor each race. There would be a Sponsors race at the end of the evening. John Underwood (Central Branch) commented that he had been to one of these before and they are really good fun.

The meeting turned to Grants, Repairs and Rehangs. The new steelwork was presently being installed at Candlesby and should be complete for the meeting in May.

Then it was the election of officers. A few persons had stood down this year. Not only did the Eastern Branch manage to fill all these positions, they created a new one, Vice President. Peter Udy was standing down as Ringing Master, Ben Meyer was standing down as Assistant Ringing Master and Julia Limage was standing down as Secretary. The election of officers went smoothly; the list of Branch officers is as follows.

President: Tom Freeston
Vice President: John Collett
Secretary: Simon Pearson
Treasurer: Val Wild
Inspector of accounts: Rhoda Reynolds
Ringing Master: Caitlin Meyer
Asst Ringing Master: Joanne French
Maintenance Team Leader: Mick Smith
Branch Safeguarding Officer: Edward Vear
Branch Webmaster: Val Wild
Guild Fundraising: Phil Ford
Guild Committee Rep: Mick Smith

The Programme for 2012 was outlined, only interrupted briefly while the table clothes were collected. It was suggested that the venue for the coach outing be Huntingdon.

The meeting turned to Any Other Business. It was asked if it would be possible to have a monthly ring at Benington, which is under the care of the Diocesan Closed Churches Uses Committee. Tom Evans from Alford has been chosen to carry the Olympic torch through Norfolk. He is unable to do one of the Lincolnshire legs, because of exams. Two quarter peal certificates had been presented.

Tom Freeston gave flowers to Julia Limage as the retiring secretary and then gave a vote of thanks to George Paul (organist), the kitchen staff, Tony Barker for arranging the service and the ringers of St. Peter & St. Paul, Ingoldmells for the use of the bells.

The raffle raised £62

There was further ringing at the Church after the meeting, but we had to leave for another meeting. Many thanks to all at the Eastern Branch for an enjoyable day.

Jonathan Clark (webmaster)