Holmer Band and Friends Ringing Outing

 This has become an annual event thanks to the efforts of Dave Powell and Karen Williams and 2008 was to be no exception. Dave asked us some months ago where we would like to ring this time and the area around Upton on Severn was chosen. These were all new towers for me. Our group of 15 were travelling in cars.

The weather forecasters promised us and the rest of the UK a very wet day and unfortunately on this occasion they got it right, although I awoke at 7am on the 9th Aug to a bright and sunny morning. Being intrepid Brits we are used to the wet stuff, even during our summer, well more correctly the grey period between Spring and Autumn this year, and so we drove towards Upton in the rain. Last year, you may recall, it was sadly renamed Upton in Severn, but we remained undaunted and looked forward to a days ringing in pleasant company.

 

We had agreed to meet at our first tower, St.Mary Magdalene in Twyning (9-3-16),  for 10.30am. This was a lovely church and we entered the upper ringing chamber via a stone stairway at the rear. Mind your head on the way in as it has a low entrance, but the chamber was light and very well looked after and the bells were a pleasure to ring. They were quiet. The band rang Cambridge and Stedman amongst others, and Eleanor, a new ringer, handled the bells very well. I have to say that we were well treated by all the tower greeters and it is a sign of the good nature of our ringing fraternity.

 

Our next tower was St.John the Baptist at Strensham (11-0-8), where we were greeted by David Bagley. It was still raining and quite exposed up on the hill. It had an imposing yellow façade probably added to help keep the weather at bay, since the church had been neglected in the past. This was a first floor ring and another 6 having three Abraham Rudhall I bells dating from 1704/05 and three bells cast by Taylors in 1911, when the bells were restored with new fittings. The band rang Bob Minor, Stedman and London here. The bells were stood at back stroke ready for a later practice and then we were on our way to our lunch stop in Upton. We parked opposite our next church, and walked back through town to the King’s Head for our pre-ordered lunch. A very sensible strategy after a few drinks. We had a good meal selection from the menu, and I would recommend it, especially on a sunnier day. Meanwhile many in the group were sampling some of the real ales on tap. I wonder why Dave chose this place. 

After lunch, we walked up from the river to Upton Parish church. This had 8 bells (11-0-0). The 6th needed a tight rope, but otherwise a sound ring. Our band rang Bob Major and Grandsire Triples here.

From here we travelled in convoy to Earls Croome, which was a light, first floor ring (8-8-10). Apologies to the band for dirtying their light coloured carpet. This was a beautiful, old church and although the ringing chamber was very noisy, the bells went well and the sound was great. Our band rang Cambridge, Stedman, London and Bob Doubles here.

 

After ringing down, we assembled outside for a team photo, whilst the rain held off. Dave and Karen were thanked by Mike for their efforts and then onto the Malvern Hills Hotel at British Camp for the local group to sample some real ale before making our way home.

In spite of the rain, we all had a great time with some excellent ringing. Our group look forward to the 2009 outing, but where next ?  Karen and Dave, I hope that you will oblige. Watch this space !!                                          Mike Jefferis

Group photo at Earls Croome

Left to Right: Dave, Karen, Pam, Paul, Duncan, Simon, Eleanor, Ken, Martin, Des, Alison, Mike, Keith, Wendy.