Events:2008:Branch AGM

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The 2008 AGM was held at Marksbury on the 18th October, 3pm. For an agenda, see Events:Branch AGM 2008:Agenda.

The meeting commenced at 16.31 pm:

Apologies for Absence

Phil Butler, Mike Stubbs, David Lloyd, Eric and Jane Webster, Roger and Helen Button, Will and Maggie Willans, Pam Pike, Peter Giles.

Matters Arising

The Chairman apologised for not organising an outing in May.

Officers Reports

Chairman's Report

The Chairman thanked all those who had attended Branch Practices and kept activities going, all those who have been involved with liaising with the Association and particularly the outgoing Secretary.

Ringing Master's Report

The Master reported that some Branch Practices have been positive and some have not proceeded quite so well and so he mooted some changes outlined on the agenda, for discussion later in the meeting. He announced that in the Association 6 bell striking competition Bathwick came third – a good achievement. He thanked Batheaston for hosting the Branch 6 bell striking competition, where Bathwick came first and second.. The Master also thanked the Chairman for organising the ringing for the opening of the Bath Music Festival in May and everyone who put themselves out to ring. (It was noted by the Chairman that the proceedings for payment this year were much more complicated and he hoped that all those who rang received their cheques accordingly). The Master reiterated that he has plans for next year which will change the structure of Branch Activities considerably. He concluded by thanking the outgoing secretary. A presentation was made to her.

The Secretary's Report

This year has been one of mixed fortunes within the branch. On the positive side we have had a very successful skittles competition at Wellow in February when Keynsham retained their title as Kings of the Pins (as-it-were). Our striking competition in September was also an excellent event, despite there being only two towers who were able to enter dedicated bands. On this occasion Bathwick succeeded in securing the trophy. I would like to thank everyone at Batheaston for making us all so welcome and providing tea and delicious ginger bell biscuits. It was particularly wonderful to see Ashley Tutcher ringing in his first striking competition, thus enabling Batheaston to enter their own team.

I must say, nevertheless, that attendance at most branch events is generally poor. It seems that this is partly due to some tower- correspondents simply not passing on information to their bands. Certainly I have found a number of towers where the flyers have not been posted, and it seems that however far in advance dates are publicised, they are not logged in tower-diaries or calendars or publicised at practices. It has been suggested that more reminders should be given for regular events, but sending out constant flyers is not practical or cost-effective, besides which – there is now a wonderful branch website which carries all the necessary information and contact details of all the officers. At present there are still some towers for which we do not have an email contact. This situation could be rectified because there is usually one member of the band with computer access…it does not have to be the official tower-contact and in this scenario we would be able to send more email reminders thereby improving communication. I must also report that we must try to speed up the acquisition of membership subscriptions which are due from November 1st and should reach the secretary no later than March 1st. Charles Pipe-Wolfestan, the Association treasurer, allowed towers more time for towers to respond this year and was reprimanded severely for doing so. This year he will be far more stern…

We must also rejoice, not only in the addition of a whole new ring of bells in the city, but also in welcoming a whole new band of eight ringers at St Stephens, Lansdown, all of whom have been trained up from scratch by Dave Kelly and his band of merry men - a fantastic accomplishment. I do hope that as time goes on we will be able to make the St Stephens band feel very welcome and help them progress.

This boost to our membership is very greatly needed. Our numbers for the interim return in May totalled 118. We had 138 members in 2005. I have heard of at least one tower in our branch which is thinking that their band might need to be disbanded due to increasing age, and illness within the band and inability to secure new members. There is also a shortage of people able and willing to teach rope-handling, although some of us are trying to add ourselves to the numbers… This is a significant handicap to our being able to bring in totally raw recruits, and makes it hard for us to help towers such as Bathford which have appealed for help in teaching learners.

Nevertheless, there have been initiatives within the city which have increased the publicity of ringing within the branch – namely locally televised publicity relating to a peal attempt at Bath Abbey earlier in the year, and then a further televised news item publicising the now highly successful tower-tours at The Abbey. These tours are showing some promise in identifying a few lapsed ringers who may well be persuaded into becoming unlapsed, and will be an excellent means of targeting new interest.

I also spent one Monday evening at Twerton, assisting with a cub pack visit to the bell-tower. It was a very lively event, but the children, seemed to have a good evening and from this meeting I met Karen Tyler who also had been roped into helping and was a lapsed ringer. Karen has since joined us regularly on Monday evenings at The Abbey and, although she cannot be with us this evening, we will be electing her this evening as a member.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone who has helped me over the last two years. It has been a steep learning curve, but I have learnt many new skills and have very much enjoyed the best part of being secretary namely the opportunity to make contact with more ringers both within the branch and in the wider ringing community. However, with greater pressures both at work and home I feel that I cannot give the necessary time to being secretary and therefore need to pass on the computer files to a new and enthusiastic volunteer.

Election of New Committee

Position Held By Proposer Seconder
Chairman Michael Day Tom Longridge Martin Pearson
Ringing Master Tom Longridge Richard Holland Rob Bell
Deputy Ringing Master Michael Day Tom Longridge Sharon Bradley
Secretary Emma Longridge Rebecca Day Martin Pearson
Education Officer Rebecca Day Martin Pearson Clover Holland
General Committee Rep Tom Longridge Robert Perry Matthew Skues
Bell Maintenance Contact Roger Button Sue Crennell Emma Longridge

Election of New Members

Election of New Committee

Name Tower Proposer Seconder
Rev Jonathan Lloyd St Stephen's Bath Dave Kelly Tom Longridge
Robert Coleman St Stephen's Bath Dave Kelly Tom Longridge
Di Smith St Stephen's Bath Dave Kelly Tom Longridge
Ian Smith St Stephen's Bath Dave Kelly Tom Longridge
Anne Wright St Stephen's Bath Dave Kelly Tom Longridge
Alex Thomson St Stephen's Bath Dave Kelly Tom Longridge
Judy Palmer St Stephen's Bath Dave Kelly Tom Longridge
Robin Peachey St Stephen's Bath Dave Kelly Tom Longridge
Chris Lupton* Bathwick Tom Longridge Matthew Skues
Alex Pool Bathwick Tom Longridge Matthew Skues
Karen Tyler Unattached Rebecca Day Emma Longridge
Lynne Webber Dunkerton Sharon Bradley Rebecca Day
Ashley Tutcher Batheaston Rebecca Day Martin Pearson
Jane Reece Wellow Richard Holland Clover Holland

Plans for the Forthcoming Year

Branch Practices

Tom outlined that due to poor attendance he planned to halt our monthly branch practices and attempt a system which might give greater benefit to the branch as a whole.

From this next year he suggested that we have quarterly practices - an hour or two of ringing with a very brief quarterly meeting, followed by a social such as skittles or simply visiting the local pub. Sharon Bradley suggested that the ringing be split around the meeting. Tom stated that he’d be grateful for towers to volunteer hosting the meetings; Dunkerton and Keynsham were offered. Tom suggested that these meetings should be on Saturdays. It was agreed that the dates would be fixed at a later stage.


Tom then added that to complement the Quarterly Practices he proposes to run some short courses in simple ringing skills e.g. a 6-8 week course for Bob Doubles, perhaps a Saturday training day in raising and lowering and another course focussing on teaching the calling of call-changes.

Wellow were particularly in favour and Robert Perry added that these would be particularly welcome, given that the Association Training Days are in abeyance at the moment.

The question of where to hold these was posed. Various suggestions were made varying from St Mikes, since it was central, to rotation around different towers. Parking in Bath was discussed and it was suggested that the new Wikipedia-style web-site could be used so that Bath residents might add parking tips for those living outside the centre.

Target Practices

Tom also proposed that we develop a system of target practices: if a tower has a particular need, it could be arranged for a few people to turn up for a limited period of time to assist the tower to meet their goal.

Sharon identified that Dunkerton would particularly welcome assistance in mastering raising and lowering in peal and stated that many ringers won’t attend practices at other churches because they are too intimidated. This provoked some debate!

Striking Competition

Tom then suggested that the striking competition format is changed slightly due to very poor turn-outs over the last few years. He proposed that the competition be put further back in the year which would enable students to take part, and that we hold a friendly striking competition where people ring for random bands with names picked out of a hat, rather for towers. It was hoped that this might encourage individuals who would otherwise not want to take part. Clover Holland pointed out that it would be important to balance teams with weak and strong ringers – the meeting concurred with this.

It was finally decided to have this event in March 2009, and possibly omit having a second competitive competition in 2009, with a review of the situation at the next A.G.M. Bob Perry suggested that we call the event a “striking day” and get someone from the branch to make appropriate comments. The date to be confirmed in due course.

It was noted that the Abbey practices held on 5th Mondays in the month have recently been converted into extra branch-practices. It was decided that this should continue.

Rebecca Day requested that, in her capacity as Education Officer, she would be keen to hear from individuals with burning ambitions to ring their first quarter-peal or a quarter of a particular method.

Bath and Wells 1100 Year Anniversary

There was a little dubiety as to the exact date of the anniversary. January 17th was suggested. Robert Perry proposed that we ring as many (preferably all), bells in the Branch simultaneously. It was also suggested that we could combine this event with encouraging individuals to attempt a first quarter peal.

Ringing World Diary Suggestions

Martin suggested that these be produced in an A5 format to enable them to be easier to read – but individuals felt this would prevent them being of a suitable pocket-size. There were no other constructive suggestions.

Any Other Business

Clover Holland thanked everyone who had gone out and helped at Wellow Tower. Sharon Bradley thanked Rebecca Day for going out to Dunkerton and helping out, and said that it was very much appreciated.

The meeting closed at 17.37 pm

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