UK05 - TOUR OF THE
20th August - 4th September, 2005
|The tour of
the United Kingdom for members of the Society based elsewhere in the work took place in
the summer of 2005. Thanks for David Baverstock for the photographs of the London Day that
appear here. Other photographs have been kindly supplied by Alan Ellis, John and Chris
Clarke and David Hull. Click on image to enlarge. The following report is by Eve and Peter
When the announcement arrived over a year ago that Simon Linford, the current Master of the Ancient Society of College Youths, was planning a comprehensive two week ringing tour of many of the great towers in the United Kingdom for out of country members, there was naturally an enthusiastic response from all corners of the ringing globe.
It took a great leap of faith both for Simon who spent an immense amount of time and effort in preparation for the tour as well as for the ancient tourists who had to make travel arrangements and to turn up at Reading station not knowing until shortly before arriving whether to turn left of right to find their accommodation! However Simon and his band of helpers were there equipped with GPS to take us to our quarters. Ringers are a faithful bunch.
On the tour were Vicki Hodgkin, Josclyn Sloan, Rhys Greenhalgh, David Knewstub (Perth), Hervey Bagot (Adelaide), Chris Jarman, Daniel Richards (Wellington), Cecily Rock, Quilla Roth, Rick & Libby Dirksen (Washington), Jeff & Alice Lawrence (nr Durban), Kevin Hughes (Geneva), Michael & Margaret Thomas, (Malta), Laith & Jan Reynolds (Perth - now England), David Oliver, John & Christine Clarke (Victoria B.C.), Edward (Jeff) White, Alan & Mae Ellis, Peter & Eve Munns (Vancouver).
We travelled the length and breadth of England (plus an important bit of Scotland) sometimes by train, but mostly by coach, staying first in Reading, then in Nottingham - where we joined the ASCY Country Meeting and attended the Dinner - and finally in York. The only decisions left to make were what to wear, which beer to drink, and which methods to ring. We then sat back and left the rest to Simon (and the bus driver). It was a very relaxing experience, allowing us do what ringers do best, which is to ring and to be sociable.
When asked during the first days ringing in Bristol did you know what you were letting yourself in for? (the groups abilities were very varied from expert to extremely rusty), Simon replied to the effect that he didnt think that it would be quite like this! However with so much daily ringing practice everyone improved quite rapidly and Bristol Surprise which was the theme method for the tour was rung in various extents at every opportunity balanced by rounds and call changes on ten and twelve for those who were not used to ringing more than eight bells. Many in the group progressed to ringing Stedman and Grandsire Cinques as well as Cambridge Maximus and Spliced Surprise.
Some memorable highlights were: ringing at St Mary Redcliffe, York Minster, Bath Abbey (anti-clockwise ring) tiny Ault Hucknall and nine Cathedrals - Bristol, Wells, St Pauls, Coventry, Lincoln, Christ Church Oxford, Durham, Newcastle and St Marys Edinburgh; seeing bells being cast at Loughborough and attempting to ring the mini ring there. Josclyn took great delight in tolling the great bell at Newcastle cathedral and who can forget climbing the 330 steps to the tower at Durham Cathedral? In all the tour took in roughly 63 towers, and rang a number peals and 8 quarter peals, including an international quarter peal at St Laurence, York with the band including a ringer from each of the participating countries.
We were treated to a wonderful dinner of traditional English fare at Chris and Heather Kippins house in Ellisfield, and were hosted and toasted in Towcester to a barbecue, cook up and great ringing. The beer flowed liberally on both occasions. Wetherspoons menu was committed to memory by all - we ate at one practically every day! Methinks my stomach doth still protest too much!
Our most unusual eating experience was dining on fish and chips and curry washed down by liberal amounts of beer whilst travelling on the top deck of an ancient Routemaster bus, number 50 to Victoria Station, which was actually taking us over the moors from Northallerton to York. Later on the train to Edinburgh some of us washed down a silver service sausage, egg and bacon full English breakfast with Jeff Laurence's champagne celebrating his birthday a few days early - he said he was just practising! Cheers Jeff.
Our thanks go to the literally dozens of ringers who turned out at all times to accompany us, to let us in and out, to ring with us, to feed and water us and to generally make us all feel very welcome and very much at home. This was the tour of a life-time, an experience to be remembered for a long time. Once again a special thank you to Simon for conceiving, coordinating and delivering this wonderful tour. Same time next year Simon?
|Bristol.||Dinner in Nottingham.|
|St Martin le Grand, York.||Taylor's mini ring.|
|Enjoying a barbecue at Towcester.|
|Ringing at Edinburgh Cathedral.||Fettes College.|
|Group at Fettes College, Edinburgh.||Fettes College bell tower.|
|Mike Clay removes the floor at Fettes.||The Master holds up his Scottish saltire to attract some strays at Waverley station.||The Master has a well earned rest.|
|Too many for the tower at Ault Hucknall.||The Master accepting his appreciation gift from Alan Ellis at the end of tour party at York Brewery.|
|The Master admires his gift.||The Master and his 'other' gift.|
|David Town and Ian Staves from Northallerton.||Rick Dirksen, Chris Jarman, Rhys Greenhalgh and Hervey Bagot ring handbells.|
|Various people enjoying themselves.||Jennie Town, David Pipe, Rick Dirksen and Chris Jarman on the handbells.|
|It all becomes too much for David Town.|
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