The Millennium Annual General meeting of the Guild was held on Saturday 18th November on the border of Kent and Outer London. This was the home ground of Fiona and Jeremy Byers and we were very grateful for all their hard work in arranging the towers.
In the morning a band gathered at St George, Beckenham for a Quarter Peal. One less person than expected arrived but a quarter peal of 1296 Cambridge Minor with the tenor covering was successfully completed, called by Ken.
After a quick lunch the band was joined by a number of other members at St Mary, Horton Kirby. We were very fortunate to have been allowed to ring here as these were the newest six in the Lewisham District, the treble bell having been installed only a few weeks earlier and only local ringers had rung there. The steps from the ground to the ringing room were very uneven and difficult to navigate a problems with English Heritage had prevented them from being repaired, so entry was a challenge. Horton Kirby was not a sleepy village as two of us returned to find our car windows smashed and bags taken, which we were later told was a regular occurrence there.
The timetable for the rest of the afternoon was very tight. The next tower f the day was the pleasant 6 of St. Mary Cray, followed rapidly by the glorious, though pretty odd struck, 8 of Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Chislehurst. The last tower of the day was the 8 of Lewisham, St. Mary. It proved possible to ring a range of methods throughout the afternoon eventually completing spliced Kent and Oxford Treble Bob, the method of the day, together with methods up to three leads of Bristol.
IN order that a number of members could return home by train after the dinner we had decided to retain the dinner in Central London and returned to ‘ye Olde Cock Tavern’ in Fleet Street. Numbers were slightly lower this year, transport and the prospect of driving in London having caused some problems as only 24 of us sat to dinner. However, the table had been laid out in an open square making it easier to talk to many members and giving a more relaxed feel to the meeting.
After the business meeting a vote of thanks together with a presentation was made to Fiona and Jeremy Byers for all their work in organising an enjoyable day’s ringing. The staff of ‘Ye Olde Cock’ were also thanked. The meeting closed in the customary manner with handball ringing.