To be hummed to the tune of “Day Trip to Bangor (Didn’t We Have a Lovely Time)” by Fiddler’s Dram:
Didn’t we have a lovely time the day we went Western Turnville,Halton, Ivinghoe and Whipsnade!
A beautiful day, we had lunch on the way, And all for under ten pounds you know.
On the way back we stopped at a thatch (the Hunters Lodge in Whipsnade),
And opened a bottle of cider.
Ringing a few of our favourite bells,
As the wheels went round … .
Training for the past year under the watchful and ever patient eyes of Richard, Rose and Ruth, we finally had our first tower outing! I think it took poor Rose nearly as long to find a date that we could all make as it had done to train us to ring in the first place!
On the day the weather was amazing so, as we made our approach, every church looked beautiful; framed by the wonderful autumn colours. Each church was made all the more majestic as they were decorated in readiness for the Remembrance Day commemorations the following day. As nervous beginners we were very appreciative of being made so welcome at each tower by the respective tower captain. To hear the bells ringing out was a real treat and, although not always our finest ringing as we were challenged by the different feel and temperament of the bells, we all agreed we loved the variety and experience that the day brought. In addition to our usual ringing in Rounds and basic Called Changes, the chance to ring the bells half muffled was a real plus. Each of us had a different ‘favourite’ tower or individual bell that had helped make our day all the more enjoyable.
In addition to Richard, Rose and Ruth, mention must go to Simon Head for his calm encouragement and to Marley the Welsh Sheepdog for his ever waggy tail and enthusiasm!
Sadly, in the event not quite all of our group could make the day, but we were able to link up with our remaining band member using WhatsApp to share our progress. The coming together of the old (bells) and the new (photos and video clips sent via WhatsApp) had a second, unexpected benefit as, after the event, we were able to review our ringing techniques via the saved video clips. That proved a valuable learning tool. I’d definitely recommend taking up the chance if you are invited.Thanks to all involved for a great day. Here’s to next time.