The Holmer Tower Outing Saturday 8th August 2009

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We left Holmer at 8am in a, well, interesting, minibus, expertly driven by Karen (W) and headed north up the A49 in the direction of Shrewsbury.  Conversation was not quite sparkling at this stage of the morning although “Are we there yet?” was mentioned once or twice.  Our first port of call (is it acceptable to mix seafaring terminology with campanology terminology and try saying that after a Pimms or three) was Pontesbury, a peal of 6 (11-1-18) with the Treble cast by Mears.  The ringers enjoyed a good mixture of rounds and call changes for the newbies (such as I) with Grandsire, Bob Doubles and Plain Hunt on 5 for the oldies.  No, that’s not quite right.  Back in the minibus before I get into trouble. 

We then traversed the countryside to our next destination, All Saints at Worthen, a pretty stone church with a peal of 6 (7-1-8).  Rounds and call changes for the new and not so new beginners with Bob Doubles and Cambridge for the experienced band members.  It was very pleasant listening to the bells ringing out as I walked in the sunshine around the churchyard where Sally was sitting on a wall and the youngsters in our party were having fun making daisy chains. 

After making sure that no-one had been left behind, we drove (rattled) on to St Michael’s at Forden, a peal of 6 (9-3-23), where the band, inspired by the thoughts of lunch, treated the village to Stedman, Plain Hunt on 5 and Grandsire Doubles.  The newbies (Kevin J and I really) were alternating between fear of all the different bells and enjoyment of a new experience, and the young members of the tower were just having a ball. 

Dave and Karen had organised a splendid lunch at the Railway Inn at Forden.  Tom’s chocolate gateau was almost as big as him and those in the know quaffed Reverend James.  Once replete, we happily hopped back into our trusty minibus and headed towards Welshpool.  Dave the part-time tour guide pointed out Powis Castle en route and we parked in the town with time to spare before our next tower appointment.  Some of our party opted to explore a local hostelry and some of us opted to explore the little town.  As Tom said it had to go in the report, I feel I should mention that Tom, Eleanor, Chloe and I quite intentionally arrived a little late at St Mary’s (a peal of 8 [12-0-12] with the Treble cast by Mears and all bells having inscriptions) so that we could have the full benefit of the Grandsire Triples that rang out as we ran up the steps!  As well as rounds and call changes the band enjoyed Plain Hunt on 7 and Bob Minor with 7 and 8 covering. 

Our last church was another St Michael’s, St Michael the Archangel at Chirbury, a peal of 6 (11-3-26) where we rang rounds and call changes, Bob Doubles, Kent, Plain Hunt on 6 and Grandsire , the latter of which was awarded ten out of ten by Tom, who listened from the churchyard. 

The biggest challenge of the day was trying to arrange a group photograph of all ringers and non-ringers who had participated in a thoroughly enjoyable day out.  What do you call a group of bell ringers on a tower outing?... 

Our grateful thanks to Karen for driving the minibus and getting us safely home without anything essential falling off in the lanes of Wales and Shropshire.  Our thanks also to everyone who warmly welcomed us to the towers we visited.  And finally thanks to Dave and Karen for arranging a lovely tour and keeping us all in line, almost. 

Karen Herbert

Outing 2009, Chirbury

Dave, Karen, Wendy, Keith, Celia, Ken, Kevin, Barbara, Roger, Pam, Mike, Paul, John, Eleanor, Karen H, Chloe, Tom, Sally