Robin Milford Reports
On Saturday 9th July the ringers of Curdridge and Botley joined with family and other local ringers for our annual outing, in the Curdridge Area Transport minibus.
This year it was organised by Rob Hatch to the area where he was brought up and learnt to ring, around Alresford and the Candovers.
We left Botley at 9am, with a short delay when we had to call on a mechanic from Hutfield’s to get the sliding door to close!
The first church stop was Cheriton, followed by a coffee and cake stop at the Long Barn near New Alresford. After getting everyone out of the shop we carried on to Old Alresford, home of Mary Sumner, the founder of the Mother’s Union. Here Rob showed us the box with his name on it that he used to stand on to ring as a boy – he’s grown a bit since then.
The photograph attached shows the ringers in the group in Old Alresford tower – Rob was behind the camera.
On next to Preston Candover, a small tower with very light but very noisy bells. We then passed two churches with the same architect as Curdridge (Northington and East Stratton) on the way to our lunch stop at the Northbrook Arms, East Stratton. They had been given our menu choices in advance and did us proud with prompt service in our own dedicated area in their skittle alley.
Here Marilyn Murrell, non-ringing wife of John, was presented with a cake as thanks for coming out with us on her birthday!
On again to ring at Micheldever, an unusual octagonal church with a much older tower, where the bells are rung from the ground floor just inside the main door – must be difficult for weddings.
The final tower was Easton, where we had to leave the minibus a short distance away to avoid having to turn it outside the church. We had intended to end up with more tea and cake at a garden centre cafe near King’s Worthy, but found the cafe closed so stopped at the Queen’s Head near Fisher’s Pond instead.
Thanks to Liz and Anthony Manship for driving the bus. In all the outing showed part of the main reasons why we all ring – visiting interesting, often out-of-the-way places in good company and enjoying the mental and physical challenges of ringing the bells.
This article originally appeared in the parish magazine.