The Ancient
Society of
Est. 1637

Country Meeting 2012

The business meeting.

The city of York has long been an attraction for the Ancient Society of College Youths. It was in 1787 that a band from the society rang the first peal on the (original) ring of bells at the Minster, a peal which required three men to ring the tenor behind. Somewhat later — in 1980 — York was the site of one of the all too rare victories by an ASCY band in the National Twelve Bell Contest.

In recent times, York has established itself as a true centre of ringing excellence, claiming to have the finest ring of twelve in the world (or the finest twelve north of Worcester, according to taste), as well as a clutch of high quality and well-maintained rings of six, eight and ten. And surrounding North Yorkshire boasts not only fine countryside, but towers of great distinction, many populated by ASCY members. So an invitation from our members in York to hold the annual country meeting in the city was accepted with alacrity.

The band which rang a peal at Clifton, where the Master learnt to ring. Clockwise from front right: Jonathan Slack, Gwen Rogers, Ian Hill, Rob Lee, Simon Reading, the Master.

By tradition, the Junior Steward has the challenge of sorting the names of members wanting to take part in peal attempts into a semi-coherent plan. Simon Meyer proved well up to the task. Apart from an attempt at St Martin le Grand which had to be cancelled because of work on the tower clock, all peals were duly completed — three on Thursday and six on Friday — with some forty members taking part.

On Saturday, after an hour's ringing on the fine ten at St Wilfrid's, a short business meeting was held. Peter Sanderson, ringing master at York Minster and a longstanding Society member, welcomed the Society to York, and the Master, David Maynard, responded with the thanks of the Society to the York ringers for their excellent arrangements. Two of North Yorkshire's rising stars were nominated for membership. Further ringing took place during the afternoon — at St Olave's, St Martin's and the Minster.

The evening's dinner, attended by 76 members and guests, was held in the graceful surroundings of the De Grey Rooms, one of York's architectural gems. Country meeting dinners are by tradition speech free, but Chris Kippin was allowed a little latitude as he presented an inscribed tankard to the recently retired Secretary, John Hughes-D'Aeth, a gift from the seven masters who served with him from 2004 to 2011.