Purbrook Tower and friends visit St Giles Imber.

A weekly planning meeting at the George Inn, Widley following a  Wednesday night practice expanded on the idea of a Good Friday trip to ring at St. Giles Church,  Imber.

Tony made contact and arranged a Good Friday 11o’clock window for our visit.  Three cars set off.

The Girl’s car  ( Bev, Jan and Blanche ) and the Boy’s car  (Tony, Bill, Alan and Allan ) met and made a comfort/coffee stop at Waitrose, Salisbury.  A mobile phone call  confirmed that car 3 ( Rachel, Theo and Heather.) were already at Lavington.

A circuitous route to avoid a temporarily closed road culminated in a mile or so of road more suited to the army tank users.

Finally arriving at St Giles we realised that there were to be a large number of spectators for our ringing.  An Easter egg hunt  and the limited number of days Imber was not being used by the army had attracted a lot of families. The church had been set up as a coffee/tea  shop and the ground floor ringing chamber was clearly visible behind a beautiful and old  open wood wall and door.

A set of very light bells, (tenor 2cwt-2qr-15ibs ) according to Dove, an anti clockwise ring and a long draft. ” Let the fun begin”!

Uppinghams showed us that tender care would be needed , as was concentration not took look the ‘wrong way’ as we pulled off.

Keeping it to what the team could manage, rounds and call changes, Grandsire , Bob Doubles and Stedman were all achieved although a number of bells/ringers suddenly deciding to have a ‘moment’ just to keep us on our toes.

Painted on one of the walls of the tower was what is thought to be one of the oldest listing of call changes known to survive.

Conversations with the spectators were manifold and would have been a golden opportunity for recruitment given the number of phones and cameras stuck through the fence whilst we were ringing.

Having said our thanks and goodbyes we headed to the The Churchill Arms, West Lavington, this time the bumpy road was avoided, and  pretty respectable pub lunch  and a beer or two were imbibed.

Traffic on the way home to Portsmouth District was typical for a sunny Good Friday but thanks to Sally Satnav the worst congestion was avoided.

Thanks  to Tony for the organisation and he also he has put a fine selection of photographs here.


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