An enjoyable day out was the consensus of ringers who participated in this outing to Hampshire, organised by Rochester District Ringing Master Diana Wraight.
We were lucky to have sunny weather and the countryside looked lovely decked in the fresh, green, Spring foliage.
After an early departure from Meopham in our vivid yellow and red 19 seat coach, we arrived at Petersfield in time for a coffee break before ringing there. The ringing began well on the 15cwt eight with a course of Stedman Triples. Three leads of Bristol Surprise Major was well-struck. Plain Bob Triples, Grandsire Triples and Double Norwich Court Bob Major were rung.
Portsmouth Cathedral was the main tower destination of the day. The ten bells augmented to twelve in 2010. Mavis Whitehead who had given the new treble bell met us. Call changes and plain hunt on eleven were managed. Considering that there is no twelve bell tower in Rochester District and only three rings of twelve in Kent the group welcomed the opportunity to ring on twelve bells though our method ringing was confined to Grandsire Cinques and Little Bob Maximus.
Lunch had been booked and pre-ordered at The Spice Island Inn, in an upstairs room overlooking Portsmouth Harbour. It would have been pleasant to have lingered longer over lunch, looking out to sea, viewing the ships and harbour traffic. But, it was soon off to ring on the newly installed 3cwt ring of eight at St. Agatha in Portsmouth.
Little learner Ellen was wide-eyed amazed when her dad said that she could ring the tenor here. The Tenor!
It was on the famously, glorious 18cwt ring of eight bells at Alton, St. Lawrence that some of the best ringing of the day was produced. Single Oxford Bob Triples, Erin,
Grandsire, and Stedman Triples, Double Norwich Court Bob Major and half a course of Yorkshire Surprise Major on the ringing menu here. While for David, our ringer/ driver and model railway enthusiast the model railway shop at Alton was on his list.
Selborne, in Gilbert White, the Naturalist, territory was our fifth and final tower of the day. Plain Bob Major, Little Bob Major, Grandsire Triples and four spliced Surprise Major were rung. Possibly, the best ringing of the day was the touch of Stedman Triples rung here.
Back safely in Meopham in exactly twelve hours since our departure. Yes, a good ringing day out; and a small profit of £10 being donated to the KCACR BRF.
Perhaps more District ringers will join in the outing next year.
Below are some photos and a video taken during the outing.
Note: if the video isn’t showing above, you may need an updated version of Adobe Flash Player which you can get here.