67 College Youths
20 peal towers
The Palace (a pub next to Leeds Parish Church)
The Royal Armouries (a superb dinner venue, also in Leeds)
A barrel of Ossett bitter
A sprinkling of friends and relations
1 On Friday evening place 34 members in 4 towers to ring peals.
2 When completed move most of those members to Palace, add friends and
relations to taste, slake thirst, toast successes and commiserate with
3 On Saturday repeat steps 1 and 2, varying quantities (60 members, 6
towers). Step 2 should be extended to use the longer time available.
4 On Sunday, after service ringing at Leeds Parish Church, repeat step 2
(but not step 3), quantities this time 48 members and 5 towers.
5 Assemble most of the members, friends and relations (80 in all) in the
Armouries for an informal dinner, and consume the barrel of bitter.
6 On Monday repeat step 2 again, this time with 50 members and 5 towers.
7 Go home.
Stated thus, this seems a pretty simple exercise. That it went so
comparatively smoothly is yet another example of the duck principle – lots
of furious paddling underneath. By the previous weekend all 20 towers had
been confirmed, all 67 ringers placed in peal attempts as appropriate, the
dinner numbers confirmed and the all-important barrel organised. Then an
email to say that permission had been withdrawn at Huddersfield because
scaffolding was going up around the tower. Courtesy of Malcolm Turner
Rotherham was eventually substituted, which meant finding two more ringers
for Monday. Enter an additional hand of fate. On Friday morning two separate
text messages within 15 minutes of each other announcing withdrawals through
illness. More frantic texting and phoning which went on throughout the
weekend as reinforcements were assembled and bands reorganised. Final blow
on Sunday morning when it was found that the Vicar of Hessle had
inadvertently arranged a baptism in the middle of the peal booked earlier.
Once again rapid reorganisation resulted in the peal being rung at Market
Weighton instead – thanks to Robert Jordan for that.
Despite the various setbacks it was a successful and enjoyable weekend. True
the peal success rate was not as high as had been expected. A rash of
miscalls put paid to four out of the six attempts lost, at Headingley,
Bradford, Armley and Hull, the remaining two, at Ilkley and Rotherham
failing for different reasons. However, the dinner was an unqualified
success, with food judged excellent on both quality and quantity, good
service, a superb venue and the beer just lasting the evening. And the main
purpose of the weekend – to meet and ring with members from Yorkshire – was
amply satisfied, with old friendships renewed and new ones made.
No event of this type organises itself, and thanks are due (and were duly
expressed at the dinner) to Jeff Ladd who arranged most of the towers, to
Rob Childs who organised the dinner – being an employee at the Armouries
certainly helped there – and to Katie Town who took on the thankless task of
selling dinner tickets and prising money out of members as well. Finally,
the remainder of the ingredient list would have been useless without the
first one, so thanks to all the members who came and made the weekend such a
success, particularly those who made up numbers at short notice.