7th Management Group Meeting, 26th June 2020 (from notes by JEB)
Don Jones (DJ) chaired the meeting, attended by Rev. Clive Thrower (CT),
Neil Westman (NW), Sue Peach (SP), Martin Whiteley (MW), John Fisher (JF) Glen Fiddy (GF), Alison Barnett (AB) and Jane Boden (JEB).
1. Welcome: DJ welcomed everybody to the meeting, held via Zoom.
2. Apologies: Received from Lynne Newton (LN).
3. Minutes from last meeting (11th February 2020): Taken as read. The meeting scheduled for 25th March 2020 had been cancelled due to Covid-19 regulations.
4. Matters Arising
i. DDA Peal Reports – JEB has input all the DDA peals from 1946 to BellBoard. Peal reports from c.2004 had already been transferred to BellBoard from Campanophile.
ii. Proposed 10 bell Striking Contest – GF had proposed this for Autumn 2020 but in view of the current ringing restrictions it is to be reviewed in 2021.
iii. 2019 Annual Report – MW said that reports had been posted to all members on 29th April 2020 on a ‘one-per-household’ basis, with District/General Secretaries holding spare copies for ringing households requiring additional copies. Please contact your local secretary if you need more copies.
iv. Rope Store – NW had contacted John Booth (BRF) and the information regarding this rope loan facility will shortly be put on the website; Sue Hall will publicise this initiative.
v. Midweek Association Practice – NW stated that these would be delayed until 2021.
vi. Training Towers – Ed. Comm. had run some courses via Zoom which had been successful and more were planned. Advertising of courses needed to be improved as emails may only reach Tower Secretaries. It’s important that Districts speak to their Ed. Rep. regarding their training needs.
5. Items for discussion
i. Seeking ‘replacement’ Officers – under the present circumstances, all Officers were prepared to stay in post until the AGM can be safely convened. The Membership Secretary role needs some clarification regarding best practice.
ii. Email from Andrew Hall regarding Charities and their responsibilities during ‘lockdown’. After consideration we concluded that the DDA is acting properly as it is not a charity and the Management Group continues to meet. The BRF, which is a charity, is planning to hold a Committee meeting in September.
iii. Holding the AGM by Zoom – some Associations have held their AGM online, although not without some organisational difficulties. We concluded that such an approach posed problems because not all our members would be able to attend (by online means) and there are issues around distributing the necessary pre-meeting paperwork to all members. More importantly, it is clear that there is no urgent procedural business to conduct given that no tower bell ringing is taking place at the moment, and it may well be several months before normal ringing is resumed.
As the 2019 Annual Report has already been circulated, our Officers are prepared to remain in post, our finances are in good order and our insurance cover remains in place, it was decided to suspend the AGM until such time as ringing activities return to normal. This was communicated to our members by email and the website on 6th July 2020.
6. Support for members during lockdown
We are only aware of one or two members who have contracted Covid-19. Various informal network groups that are supporting local ringers, their families and the elderly are working well.
7. Financial situation
LN confirmed (by email) a satisfactory financial position. Some membership dues still need to be passed to her and some advertisers in the Annual Report still need to settle their invoices.
8. Preparation for returning to ringing
Comprehensive advice and Risk Assessments have been distributed widely by the Central Council through the Ringing World (Issue 5696) and by email in anticipation of a phased return to tower bell ringing. This, and subsequent advice, has been cascaded by Sue and Andrew Hall to DDA members using email and the website. It provides a very useful resource for ringers and the clergy, but it will inevitably be subject to change as the transition from lockdown progresses. Currently it is clear that ringing will be restricted to short periods for a Sunday service, when church authorities and ringers consider it safe and appropriate for both events to take place.
i. JEB regretted to announce the death of two ringers from the Chesterfield District; Pamela Haynes from North Wingfield and Eric Sterland from Swanwick. Eric had been a member of the Association since 1947.
ii. DJ proposed that the Association takes out a subscription for Zoom, at a cost of about £14 per month, to facilitate easier online meetings.
iii. Future activities: there may well not be any significant face-to-face Association activity until the ADM’s and AGM in 2021. Online activities and meetings (e.g. ringing-related, training, social, etc.) will continue at all levels and the date for the next Management Group meeting will be determined by DJ/JEB.