The idea had been talked about for some time, it now became reality.
On Saturday 4th June 2016 the St Lawrence Learners and Improvers Practice went on tour.
We started at 9.30am at St Mary, Liss where we joined the local weekly practice. Liss has a nice light ring of 8 (12-1-26) so everyone was able to have a go without feeling that any bell would be too heavy for them. This was one of the aims of the day as towers were selected that had easy access and all bells could be rung by all ringers. We spent an hour at Liss and were treated to tea and coffee by the local band before we moved on.
Next stop was the 6 bell tower (12-3-17) at Holy Cross, Binsted from 11.00am till 12 noon. Here we had two unexpected additions to the group. Whilst we were ringing the two gardeners, who were tending the churchyard, had been fascinated by what we were doing and asked if they could have a go. We gave them a quick briefing as to how things worked and then let them try their had at ringing. They both enjoyed the experience and indicated that they might like to learn more, unfortunately they are not local but we did point them in the direction of their local churches, so maybe we will see them again somewhere in the future.
Our third tower was Our Lady of Warnford another 6 bell ring (12-2-10) from 12.30pm till 1.30pm. Another of the stated aims of this tour was that we would only do basic ringing i.e. Rounds, Call Changes, Plain Hunt, Plain Bob and Grandsire. However, we did allow our team of loyal helpers a little bit of fun by ending this session before lunch with some Norwich Surprise Minor.
Lunch was taken at The George and Falcon in Warnford, a very leisurely affair, thanks to Judy Sparling who organised us all to pre-order.
After lunch we moved on to St Mary, Selborne a manageable 8 (8-3-8) with everyone having a go. We were here form 3pm till 4pm.
We rounded the day off with a nice light ring of 8 (6-3-16) at The Church of the Holy Rood, Holybourne from 4.30pm till 5.30pm. At this last tower we set up the District Bookstall to give all the learners the opportunity to buy books to help consolidate their knowledge and we took a few photos.
Everyone said how much they had enjoyed the day, so it looks like we may be doing it again. I would like to give special thanks to Matt Watts for organising the event and booking the towers, to Judy Sparling for organising us all at lunch and for providing the bookstall, to Liz South for providing us with chocolates and strawberries throughout the day, to Rene Bailey for providing much needed Kit-Kats and Twix Bars at Holybourne and to all the helpers. Finally a big thank you to all the learners and improvers who turned up, without you the event would not have happened.
After all the excitement of the day we went for a beer and a curry. Everyone one was invited but it ended up with about 15 of us.
I think the day could be summed up by saying: “Good ringing, good food, good friends and a great day out!”
Thanks to Mike Novell for the article and Madeline King for the photo of the band.