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West Lindsey Branch AGM, 19th January 2013

It was quite a snowy day for an AGM. I arrived in time for a bit of ringing on the 6 at All Saint's, Belton, before going down into the church at 4:15pm for the service. This was led by the local incumbent the Reverend Tim Buckley and used the standard form of the Guild service from the green booklet. The organ was played by Roger Lord from the Northern Branch.

Ringing at All Saints
Ringing at All Saints

After the service we all moved down to the "Pavillion" at the Playing Fields, approximately 1/4 mile from the Church. A variety of 5 different soups were waiting for us on our arrival, along with Tea and Coffee. After the vicar had said Grace, we commenced on a cold buffet of epic proportions. As usual we were well catered for by the West Lindsey Branch and I need not have worried about not having booked.

Assembling for the service
The members have tea at the "Pavillion"

Once the tea was over, the branch officers assembled to commence the AGM.

The Melvyn Rose opened the meeting with a minute's silence and then a prayer for those members of the West Lindsey Branch that had passed away in the previous year. These were Bryan Kitson, Harry Baldwin and Ron Bowness. After the apologies for absence the minutes for the last AGM were approved.

The Ringing Master Mrs. Janet Clarke gave her report. The Jubilee ringing has gone very well, with a peal of Yorkshire Surprise Major at Scunthorpe. There was also lots of ringing for Olympic Torch Relay. The quarter peal month was also well suscribed. The meetings with a social element attracted the most support, particularly the BBQ in August. The ringing in August at the Cathedral for Evensong went well and introduced several members to ringing on 12. The May ringing outing to Nottingham was a bit down on numbers but this made it less rushed than in previous years. The West Lindsey Branch did well at the 6 bell striking competition with a second place in both the cup and the plate. Also the West Lindsey Branch came a close 3rd place in the 8 bell interbranch striking competition at Surfleet. The branch had two young ringers in the team at the National Youth Striking Competition in Birmingham this year. Branch meetings attendance could be better. There is about 10% to 15% of the entire branch membership on average at branch meetings.

The Treasurer Mary Brown gave her report, which was to go through the previously circulated balance sheet. Income has dropped a little although this is because some members have not yet renewed their subs. There have been some grants made out of the Belrey Repair fund these being £150 to Winterton for new bell ropes, £750 to Springthorpe and £2000 to Epworth for it's restoration work.

The Guild Committee Rep (Ian Till) gave his report. Safeguarding of children is still a big issue and keeps changing on a regular basis. The Guild President (Alan Payne) continues to liase with the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer (Simon Payne). The current thinking is that CRBs should cover more than one tower. Guild finances are in good shape and Roger (Lord) has a good hold on the funds. There are no changes in the subscription charges. There are new membership forms available now to try and bring things into line with charity commission rules. The Guild website continues to be a good source of of information and Sue Faull keeps the Guild Newssheet upto date. The Guild gave financial support to the young ringers going to National Youth Competition at Birmingham this year. They got to ring on a variety of different bells including the ring of 16 at the Bullring. The Guild AGM format is to remain the same for this year, but it may change in the future. The 6 bell striking competition is to be held on 14th September this year and the Interbranch 8 bell striking competition will be on the 19th October and will be hosted by the West Lindsey Branch.

From Left to Right: Tracey Black (Secretary),
Melvyn Rose (President), Janet Clarke (Ringing Master)

There was no Branch Webmaster's report, so the meeting moved onto the Election of Officers. The president (Melvyn Rose) thanked all the officers for their work over the past year, before the the election of officers began. The main points here were that Ellie Sargeant was elected to the position of Junior Member Rep in place of Philip Scarf and the position of Branch webmaster has been discontinued. Patience Thody is unable to continue in the role of webmaster and there does not appear to be anyone willing to take it on. The question was asked if the Branch needed a website if the Guild website is available. The secretary is operating an efficient mail shot e-mail system to keep members informed of what is happening and visitors would normally visit the Guild website rather that the branch website. Each branch does have a page on the Guild website. It was decided therefore to discontinue the branch website and just stick with the Guild website. This being the case, the list of Branch Officers now stands as follows

President: Melvyn Rose
Treasurer: Mary Brown
Secretary: Tracey Black
Ringing Master: Janet Clarke
Asst. Ringing Master: Alison Elwess
Junior Member Rep: Ellie Sargeant
Fund Raising Rep: Susan Faull
Guild Committee Rep: Ian Till
Committee members: Pam Cooke, Joy Till, Sue Faull & Ted Steel
Auditor: Richard Hall

After the election of new members, the Diary of Events for the year was dicussed. Ian Till gave a short explanation on the Fish & Chip Ringing. Despite popular belief that it involves the consumption of deep fried fish and potato based products, this was in fact not the case. It is very simply thinking through a sentence while ringing as an aid to better striking and so this was a Striking Improvement workshop. Also discussed were possible opportunities for ringing quarter peals and the like. Possibilities included ringing for the birth of the Royal baby and some celebratory ringing at Epworth once the bells are ringable.

There were no outstanding Grant Applications other than the ones already being processed for Epworth and the other towers mentioned above. At this point, Robin Heppenstall took the floor to discuss the Guild Strategic Review. A lot of members had asked if the questionnaire was the review. Robin assured members that it was not. The questionnaire was just the "opening shot" to get the Review underway. It is anticipated that the Review may take 2 to 3 years to complete. Robin urged members to fill out the questionnaire, even if they only answered a few of the questions, and submit it to either their Branch secretary or to any Guild officer.

The meeting concluded with Any Other Business. Sue Faull mentioned she has Guild Raffle Tickets available. Mary Brown reminded members that the subscriptions were now due and there was a vote of thanks for those who has done the tea.

Ringing at All Saints

The meeting concluded at about 7:30pm. The members departed, some back to the tower at All Saint's for some more ringing which included a rather interesting bit of 6 spliced these being Cambridge Surprise, St. Clements, Little Bob, Plain Bob, Single Oxford and Double Oxford. Also some Rounds and Call changes were rung and some Norwich Surprise (but not spliced!)

Another well organised West Lindsey Branch meeting with the trademark catering (food and lots of it!) and some excellent ringing on the 6 at All Saint's Church. A very enjoyable afternoon!

Jonathan Clark (webmaster)