Mid-Devon Branch Outing Gloucestershire
Anyone who has organised an outing will know that it can be fraught with problems, from towers that don't reply to clashes with other events that mean complete re-thinking. Mercifully, this year there were none of these problems and 5 phone calls produced 5 towers to visit.
An early start was made from Newton Abbot and we were soon on our way up the motorway. Our spirits were high despite the wet weather and we were in good time arriving at our first tower. Stone are a light six in a very small ringing room. They are a joy to ring and we found them an excellent start to the day, even if it meant climbing the tower in "shifts". We had all booked our food at the Berkeley Arms in Berkeley and the staff there were very welcoming and soon had us settled and drinks on the way. Our food swiftly followed and all agreed that we had an excellent meal.
One of the main reasons for choosing this area was to sample the re-hung 10 at Berkeley. Our time was slightly curtailed due to a wedding but we were all impressed by the quality of the transformation of a ring that many people considered to be the worst ring of 10 in the country. They now go really well and sound superb.
Not too far away were Stinchcombe, where, back in the 1960s there was a court case due to the church authorities wanting to install a recording system to replace the bells. The Gloucester and Bristol Association and the Central council fought this plan and won. The bells were re-hung and now are a fine six. Our Coach driver was less impressed with the village as she had a difference of opinion with the village post-box which was left looking decidedly drunk!!
On to Cromhall, another good ring of six where Philip found his name on a peal board and Wena reminded us that it was the venue of her first peal. Last ring of the day was the 8 at Thornbury. The highlight here was a touch of Grandsire Triples containing well- struck Queens and Titums.
It was a great pleasure that we had some visitors. Catherine Saunders joined us for the whole of the day and Russell and Caroline Chamberlain joined us for a couple of the towers – Russell had to prepare for Harvest Festival the next day. They were all looking well and send their love to those they did not see.
A stop was made for refreshment in Wellington and we were home in Newton Abbot by 9.30 after a very enjoyable outing. Our grateful thanks to the organisers and all who gave permission for us to ring and made us so welcome in their towers.