This would normally include the word ‘barbecue’ but that became a moot point. More on that later!

29th June presented us with perfect summer weather, and at 2pm eleven young ringers and plenty of family and friends gathered at Stoke Canon for a good ring. An hour later we were at Pinhoe for the third year running, for the rest of the afternoon. Quite a bit of ringing for all abilities was followed by a church treasure hunt, and informal games such as swing-ball, Frisbee and boules outside. It wasn’t long before the more athletic of all ages were having a go at leapfrog! Efforts were watched by a flock of noisy free-ranging churchyard guineafowl, while a nearby field contained two nervous and very recently shorn alpacas. Many young people and interested parents had a go at tunes or ringing rounds on handbells.

Yes, the day was sunny, but also rather windy, and the barbecues just would not get going. Wendy Gill kindly drove off to grill most of the meat at home, while Phil Hughes nurtured a patch of glowing coals, producing a slow stream of burgers for the very hungry. A good supply of cakes, eaten first, meant that no-one minded too much, and eventually Wendy returned with cooked goods, and all ate their fill.

Greatful thanks to the churches for hosting us, and to all who helped to make it such an enjoyable afternoon.

Lynne Hughes

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