The 2004 Annual General Meeting of the Guild was held on Saturday 20th November in the South Bank area of London.
It was a cold dull damp day with snow lying in some areas of the country as members left home. However, this did not damped our spirits and we had an enjoyable and incident free day.
The morning began for some members at the 8 of St James Bermondsey
Most members joined the band early in the afternoon at St Mary and St Paul, Rotherhithe. Here an active group were carrying out restoration work in the grounds as we entered a small external door and ascended the spiral staircase to the first floor ringing chamber.
From there we made our way through the traffic to the interesting tower of St Peter, Walworth. The bells here seem to have played a form of merry go round. The bells here were inaugurated in 2001 having previously been cast for St Andrew Waterloo from metal from the bells of Holy Trinity Newington. The previous ring from Walworth appears to have been rehung in St Anne’s, Limehouse. There was a smell of fresh paint everywhere as the interior of the church had been recently decorated
The last tower of the day was the 8 of St John the Evangelist, Waterloo. This had seen serious restoration since the Guild’s last visit here. Rehearsals were in progress in the church itself but in the crypt was a very inviting café and excellent toilet facilities.
The ring throughout the day was generally of a high standard. We managed several plain courses of the special method of the day, Double Bob Major, but a touch will remain a challenge for another day. The increased number of members attending in recent years does however mean that is very crowded in the ringing chambers with frequent queuing on the stairs but the positive side of this is that it does provide more time for socialising. We were very pleased to welcome a number of new members and welcome back some members who had been unable to attend for many years.
Thirty-six of us sat to dinner at Ye Olde Cocke Tavern. The manager was on holiday so the service was a little stretched although it is fair to say that we added a little to the difficulty of proceedings by our uncertainty about individual menu choices. The business meeting was closed at 21.45 and followed by the traditional handbell ringing.