2023 Annual General Meeting

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The 2023 Annual General Meeting of the Guild of Medical Ringers was held on Saturday 25th November in the City of London.

We hoped to have returned to normality this year after 2 years of remote meetings with the pandemic and last year a train strike, but this year we faced  a National March for Palestine Peace and Black Friday shopping. The city was packed and for some of us there were more people standing on the train into the city than there were people sitting.  Added to this it had been exceptionally difficult to obtain towers many not responding and others booked for other events. The result of this was a low turnout but still a good day for those we who attended.

The morning was a quarter peal attempt at St Mary’s Islington and the 10am start was a challenge for some. There was a   break then for lunch and a journey to Westminster.  The march was just arriving at Westminster as we came and 14 minibus loads of police passed us and helicopters circled. However, we understood that the march was largely peaceful. The Church of St Margaret, Westminster Abbey founded in the twelfth century is in the grounds of Westminster Abbey on Parliament Square. It is dedicated to Margaret of Antioch, and forms part of a single World Heritage Site with the Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey and is known as Houses of Parliament Parish Church. Despite an experienced band the 10 bells presented quite a challenge.

We then battled through heavy crowds some walking and some by passing the closed tube at Westminster going to ? Mansion House.  From there we journeyed to the 8 of St Giles in the Fields, Holborn. Eleven years previously GP members of the Guild had rung a quarter peal here, the first by a ban of GPs to mark the 60th Anniversary of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Some members left us here but others headed to Ye Olde Watling for our Annual General Meeting and Diner. The upstairs Room where we had our meeting was used by Sir Christopher Wren as the room for his plans when St Pauls was being built.