Botley and Curdridge Tower Outing (Robin Milford Reports)

Last Saturday, 8th July, the Curdridge and Botley ringers joined some of our regular ringing helpers from Netley and Shedfield in taking the Curdridge minibus for our annual ringing outing.

After visiting the Isle of Wight twice, Wiltshire, North Hampshire and the Chichester area in recent years, this year we went back to West Sussex but up around the Petersfield – Midhurst area.

Our first tower was Rogate, where we found some difficulty because of a high ceiling and long ropes which snaked away when we tried to catch them.

We recovered from this with tea and cakes at a garden centre at Rake, before going on to ring at Milland. There are a church and an old chapel here, entirely surrounded by trees just off what used to be the A3 north of Petersfield. From here it was quite a lengthy drive to the village of Milland, where we enjoyed an excellent pub lunch at the Rising Sun.

Next on the list, and farthest east, was Lodsworth, off the A272. Here we admired the large Millenium embroidery. This church is the burial place of E H Shepard, original illustrator of the Winnie the Pooh books, who lived in the village.

Heading back home we stopped to ring at Easebourne, next to Cowdray Park polo ground where a polo championship was being held. The attached photograph was taken there. Our final church was Stedham, in a lovely village just west of Midhurst. One final stop was at the Thomas Lord pub in East Meon, where we all gathered around a table in the garden to talk over the day and watch a hot air balloon go over.

Quite a long day, over 12 hours by the time we got home, but worth it for seeing some beautiful places and ringing some interesting bells in good company. If anyone would like to join us and come on next year’s outing please get in touch with myself or Anthony Manship.

Robin Milford

Curdridge, Portsmouth District

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