Branch Secretary’s Report for AGM

Here is Kathryn’s report which was lost at the AGM:

Bicester Branch

Bicester Branch’s AGM was held on 23 February at Ludgershall – held with some speed due to the cold and lack of change of Branch officers or business.

The happy event of the year was the augmentation to six at St Mary the Virgin, Weston-on-the-Green and the return of all the bells to a ringable state by the end of the year.  The re-dedication of the bells was held on 5 May and congratulations are due to Tower Captain, Bob Hessian, who managed the project, and to Taylors who completed the work.

Our outing on 23 March had to be cancelled due to snow but was rearranged for the autumn when we went to the Newbury area – ringing by only a handful of members at Brightwalton, Chieveley, Speen and Thatcham – but enjoyed very much by those who came.

Sadly, in June, our former President, Cliff East, died after a long and happy life – he held most positions in the Branch over the years: as secretary, branch representative, ringing master, Vice President and President, as well as Tower Captain in Ludgershall.  He will be missed by all who knew, and rang, with him.

In September we held our Branch striking competition and barbecue with three teams competing for the Cliff East shield – won narrowly by the home team, Islip – a veil is best drawn over the Branch’s subsequent appearance at the Guild striking competition.

Two noteworthy quarters have been recorded this year – the first to celebrate the 30th anniversary of ringing on 16 April of our joint ringing master and webmaster, Anthony Cole, and the second on 13 December to celebrate the centenary of the founding of the Bicester Branch (both at St Edburg’s, Bicester).  Elsewhere ringing throughout the Branch during the year has been steady – for weddings with further quarters and peals for wedding anniversaries notably at Brill, service ringing and the encouraging news of some Branch ringers (Anne Martin, Ali McConnell and Hilary Wallbank) taking part as students at the Steeple Aston course.

Kathryn Grant