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The Marches

Secretary: Mary Bartholomew email mary_at_leoconnect.co.uk

The Marches District report for 2016

The Marches District is precisely that, the area that stretches down the entire border between England and Wales, but latterly we have ventured eastwards into Worcestershire as well. Members travelling from either the far north or the far south of the district find it easier to come to meetings towards the central area although we do try to vary where we go.

We try to meet on the fifth Saturday of the month so in 2016 we met four times, January, April, July and October. The fifth Saturday of December being New Year’s Eve, it was decided as members would be otherwise occupied later that day we couldn’t guarantee a good attendance.

Attendance at meetings varied but averaged 20 which with our many six bell towers is a goodly number. We ring at two towers in the morning, a leisurely pub lunch followed by a meeting and a third tower in the afternoon finishing at 4.00pm enabling members to rejoin their families for the evening. Three new members were elected during the year and interest was shown by a number of others. 

Meetings are arranged by members who volunteer to do so, for which we are very grateful. In 2016 we rang at Tenbury Wells, Eye and Leominster Priory, Ross on Wye, Peterstow and Llangarron, Shelsley Beauchamp, Grimley and Areley Kings, Rushbury, Hope Bowdler and Wistanstow. A variety of methods were rung enabling all abilities to learn something new. Our meetings are relaxed social affairs but nevertheless ringing progress is made.
Mary Bartholomew, Secretary

The Marches District report for 2015

2015 saw our district hosting the Guild AGM for the first time. This was a slightly terrifying prospect but, thanks to the advice and support of other Guild members and officers, and plenty of preparation beforehand, the day went well. For those of us who attend the annual Ladies Guild holiday, it was a chance to meet up with friends made there and introduce them to our lovely part of the country.

The Guild AGM in June replaced a May district meeting, but other meetings were held in January, March, August and October. We travelled to Shropshire in January (in the snow!), around Hereford in March, the Welshpool area in August, and North-west Herefordshire/the Welsh border in October. Attendance at meetings was varied but we began and ended the year on a high and of course a goodly number of our members came to support and help us at the Guild AGM.

We were very pleased to elect a number of new members during the year and welcome them to the friendship of the Ladies Guild. Most District Officers were re-elected at our ADM, the exception being Christine Loran who stood down as Treasurer. We thanked her for all her hard work during her term of office and welcomed Anne Newman who kindly agreed to take over the role. In September we said farewell to Bo Hollingshurst, one of our original members and joint secretary in the early days, when she and her husband moved to live closer to their family. Bo is settling in to ringing in her new area and will no doubt soon join her local LG band!

We thank members who organised meetings for us in 2015 and look forward to another great year in 2016. Thanks also go to our officers and all the members who come and support us – the district would be nothing without you!
Pat Key,Vice-President

The Marches District report for 2014

We celebrated our fifth birthday in February with ringing at Lugwardine, Withington and Wellington and we were pleased to welcome a record number of members to the day. 
Time has flown by since some of the Guild officers came to Leominster to help us set up our district and introduced us to the comradeship of the Ladies Guild.

Other meetings during the year were held at Llanfeugan, Brecon and Llanfaes in May; Bodenham, Stoke Prior and Leominster in August; and Shrawley, Grimley and Worcester in November. Attendance at the summer meetings was a little low due to holidays and other commitments but we ended the year on an upward trend.

With such a widespread membership we try to extend our practices to all corners of the district to enable as many ladies as possible to join us at least once or twice a year. One of our members has designed a leaflet which we now leave at towers where we have rung, as a thank you and also to inform other ringers of the existence of the Ladies' Guild. When booking towers we have found that not everyone has heard of the Ladies' Guild so we are trying to publicise this friendly and welcoming organisation.

We had one or two changes in officers at our ADM in February. Most notably Denise Fletcher stepped down as Ringing Master to be replaced by Rhiannon Pugh. Denise has been master since the district was founded and we sincerely thank her for all her support and encouragement during her tenure in office. Rhiannon, the other officers and members look forward to welcoming the Ladies Guild to our beautiful district when we host the AGM here in 2015. 
Pat Key, Marches District Vice President