In preparation for the Summer Tour, the Lilliputters have, for the last two years, held a day’s outing a couple of months before the Big Event. As well as giving us all a chance to meet and socialise again – some members rarely see each other away from Lilliputters! – it gives prospective new members a chance to join the group, and an opportunity to visit a different area.
Last Saturday, 6th May, it was the turn of the Basingstoke District to play host to the Lilliputters. The group continues to expand; as well as Swindon, Brighton, Abingdon, Colchester and Brockenhurst, we also welcomed new members from Bristol, Hertford and Rickmansworth.
Come 10 o’clock, we had a turnout of some 15 young and young-at-heart ringers meeting at the fine octave at St Michael, Basingstoke, to start us off with what (for many) proved to be the favourite bells of the day! Striking a balance between our usual array of silliness and maintaining a good standard of ringing, we enjoyed our time here, with call changes, Grandsire Triples and Stedman Triples the staple fare.
Following our next tower – the interesting six at Wootton St Lawrence – it was time for lunch; the highlight of the day for many, with handbells and maximum daftness a must – the two are sometimes connected! But then, who could forget last years “human bellframe” competition, or playpark antics? Fortuitously, there is a large green area just behind Wootton church, which hosted lunchtime very nicely; while some members lost a handbell quarter peal, others got stuck in the baby swings, or kept The Mighty Kaleeb entertained; no easy task!
Lunch complete, we headed onto Overton, where George brushed up on his praying, and we were joined by Tim and Rosalind Martin almost out of the blue (I had only picked up the warning text two minutes before they arrived!). Strong supporters of the tour, it was great to welcome them along and catch up. We also said farewell to Mike Martin, who had joined us for the morning – and wish him every success on his new adventure; who knows, a Lilliput adventure to Ireland may yet be on the cards!
Whitchurch proved to be the highlight for many, with an opportunity to ring on a substantial ring of ten; an interesting mix of dates and founders, augmented some twenty years ago with two modern tenors; an unusual arrangement! Here, we had the obligatory group photo – and were joined by two ringers from Battersea, who were walking in the area – but which also made enough for half a course of Cambridge Royal; a very commendable effort!
Finally, it was onto the handy eight at Hurstbourne Priors to finish the day. Aside from the field full of cows by the church, we enjoyed a good course of Cambridge, and a spanking touch of Little Bob to finish.
And that was it. Friends reacquainted, madness ensued, everything and everyone left in one piece, it was the end of another super day out. The Summer Tour will once again run in the Poole vicinity from Monday 31st July to Friday 4th August, and you are warmly invited to join us, irrespective of age and ability!