On June the 16th, eight Botley ringers started off with the intention of ringing 1260 changes of Grandsire Doubles in tribute to Janet Livingston, late of Botley and before that Aldermaston.
You will probably gather that this wasn’t a standard quarter peal. We wanted to involve everyone in the band who knew Janet, but some could not ring touches and some could not ring for the length of time required.
We therefore devised a scheme whereby six people would ring a longish touch, then the front three would stand while the back three continued in rounds, and some of the front three would go downstairs to keep Janet’s daughter Fiona company, while others came up to join the back three and ring ten plain courses. They would then go down again while the original six rang another long touch.
This was all made more interesting as the ringers of treble and two stand to ring on the trapdoor covering the stairs! I’m afraid it didn’t work out quite as planned – the ringing room is only about 8 feet square and has no windows, and at the end of the ten plain courses we thought it wise to stop for a while, not wanting to lose another ringer because of the heat.
We made good use of the interval, sharing tea and cake with Fiona and her husband Chris, before ringing another touch to finish off. I like to think Janet would have approved, especially as this was the first time we had tried something like this. We think we rang somewhere between 900 and 1000 changes in all. The ringers involved were:
- John Murrell
- Wendy Smart
- John Whiteman
- Rob Hatch
- Liz Manship
- Gail Robinson
- Robin Milford
- Anthony Manship