Holmer and Friends Tower Outing - Saturday 11th August 2018  More photos

Group 2018
Left to right; Alex, Jack, Hayley, Ben, Rosie, Ian, Karen, Dan, Mary, Robert, Briannie, Ken, Jayne, Dave, Mike, Pam and Martin. Missing - Sally and Celia

Holmer Tower Outing August 2018

I joined Holmer Bellringers about six months ago after moving to the area and deciding to take up a new hobby.

This weekend saw my first tower outing and as I am a “newbie” and “someone with a fresh perspective”, I was asked to write a short piece about the event. So here goes……

After getting up at the crack of sparrowfart I met my fellow band members (16 of them on this occasion) at the minibus hired for the day, all keen to get under way – after they had finished their bacon/sausage/egg butties of course!

First tower of the day was Westbury Church, Shropshire. The ringing chamber access was up a very steep stone staircase on the outside of the building, but that didn’t put most people off. I am not entirely convinced the residents of the village were particularly happy to hear us practising at 9.30 on a Saturday morning, but nobody came and complained! After about 45 minutes of enthusiastic ringing we all piled back in to the minibus to head off to the next tower on the list, Leighton. This was quite a large church with a really impressive mausoleum. Access to the chamber was up a short spiral stone staircase. Nice ringing chamber – it even had room for seats round the edge and a little table in the middle! The sun was still shining and it was decided that the group photo would be taken outside.

The next tower on the itinerary was in Wales. Montgomery to be precise. Access to this chamber was again via a spiral stone staircase, although at first glance it looked like a broom cupboard as it was off the kitchen and there were mops and brooms wedged under the stairs. Those of us who weren’t ringing decamped to the Dragon hotel for a drink (it’s thirsty work bellringing!) and lunch was served - albeit slightly late but we got a free pint in compensation 😊

A couple of pints and a fabulous lunch later we all piled off to Churchstoke to swing on some more ropes. This particular church had a wooden steeple which caused some interest – especially when Dan came back in to the church saying “Guys! Guys! Come and look at this. The steeple moves when the bells ring!” so of course those of us that were taking a break piled outside to look. Sure enough, the weather vane on top of the steeple wobbled every time the bells were rung. This was also where Jack aged four, was allowed to ring – with help from Dave. We start them young at Holmer!

The last tower was Lydbury North and I can see why we only do two towers after lunch – I was flagging, I don’t know about anybody else! When the ringing chamber was unlocked, there was a large wooden ladder leaning against an access hatch in the roof – probably about 30 feet up. This was the access to the ringing chamber. I took one look and decided it wasn’t for me – me and ladders do not get on! So I went on a tour of the church instead.

Final stop of the day was at the Sun Inn, Leintwardine for more liquid refreshment. We were delayed somewhat when a herd of sheep escaped from a field and decided to mill about in the road. Karen and Dave decided to see if they could help to cries of “go on Karen, you’re Welsh, you know how to wrangle sheep!”

I thoroughly enjoyed my first outing and learnt a lot, about bellringing, bell towers, people and sheep!

Jayne Morgan