Despite Storm Katie trying her best to stop us from getting about on the morning of Easter Monday with fallen trees and closed bridges plenty of ringers ventured out to ring at the various towers open on the way to Tunstall, the venue for this year’s County AGM being hosted by the Rochester District.
As ringers converged on Tunstall from 11am, there was open ringing followed by the service touch of Stedman Triples prior to the annual church service. Revd Alan Pinnegar, with assistance from Revd Kenneth Clarke from Stone-next-Dartford gave us a very enjoyable service and Revd Stanley Evans read aloud the names of all those ringers that had sadly passed away during the previous year. It was particularly sad that Martin Pring of All Saints, Maidstone was included on this list having lost his battle with cancer over Easter Weekend.
Following the service, a wonderful lunch was provided at Tunstall Village Hall – judging by the clean plates around the room, I think it’s safe to say the food went down very well indeed! Many thanks go to Nicky and her team for providing the meal. Of course there was plenty of real ale and other drinks to wash everything down with, expertly dispensed by Ray Morgan and Helen Webb from Rochester Cathedral.
The AGM started shortly after 2.45pm and was pushed along nicely by the Chairman Daniel Brady. Thankfully there were no rule changes to worry about this year! Most of the Association’s officers are unchanged for the coming year, apart from the following:
- Peter Dale stood down as Training Officer after a number of years in post. This post is currently going to remain vacant whilst we find the best person to fill it
- Helen Webb stood down as Publicity Officer, and Caroline Stockmann was elected to take on the role
- A new position of County Youth Officer has been created, and young Alex Fishburn from the Lewisham District was successully elected to this role
- Unfortunately we lost Frank Lewis, one of our Central Council Reps, last year leaving a position vacant for the remaining year of this triennium. Caroline Stockmann agreed to fill this position and was duly elected for 2016/2017 and will attend the CC Meeting in May
- Phil Larter stood down as a Central Council Representative, and as such wouldn’t be standing for re-election for the new triennium (2017-2020)
- Phil Barnes and Caroline Stockmann were elected as new CC Reps for the new triennium (2017-2020)
A high point of the AGM each year is when the Chairman gets to award some members with their 50 year membership certificates. There were quite a few this year, and also a 70 year certificate which was awarded to Derek Chatfield. Those who achieved their 50 year membership certificate are as follows:
- Hilary Hinde – Meopham
- Robert W Hinde – Meopham
- Anthony Bridges – St. Peter in Thanet
- Mary Bridges – St. Peter in Thanet
- P Charles Sinden – Brabourne
- A Jim Small – Willesborough
- Hilary Small – Sellindge
- Richard A Birch – Newnham
- Donald H Niblett – Canterbury, St. Stephen
- Ruth S Niblett – Canterbury, St. Stephen
- Anne M Oakley – Canterbury Cathedral
- Richard W H Hayes – Unattached
The photos below show the Chairman presenting those who were present at the meeting with their certificates. Anyone not able to make it to the AGM will receive their certificates in due course.
Many thanks to the Rochester District for organising a great event, and thanks to all those involved in making the day a success.
Doug Davis, Hon. General Secretary