The Norfolk tour started at roughly 4 o’clock in the afternoon in true UL fashion, in the nearest pub. The nearest pub to the train station was the Coach and Horses, and we stayed for a quick drink before departing for Norwich city centre. Once in the city centre we visited another pub called Murderers, before ringing at our first tower of the tour, All Saints. The bells were lovely, and some of us branched out and tried new methods. When the ringing was over we headed off for another time honoured UL tradition … a curry.
In the curry house Jacqui amazingly discovered a new species of animal known as a licken, or a chamb. I believe it to be a strange cross between a lamb and a chicken. After the curry we went in search of the accommodation. Robin decided on the way that he needed to stop off at a Tesco to buy some alcohol and mixer. The only problem was that it was past midnight, and there wasn’t an open shop in sight. Eventually, with the aid of 2 sat navs, and a route that went via John O’ Groats, we found a 24hr Tesco, which refused to sell us any alcohol as only half the party had ID with them. After this huge disappointment we made our way to Clover Hill village hall, where we were sleeping.
In the morning we departed the hall early to ring at St. Peter Mancroft. We only just managed to grab the 12, with some help from a couple of locals. The second tower of the day was St. Giles, a 10 minute walk away, so most of the party took a necessary Starbucks break on the way. After St. Giles we went for lunch in a waffle house.
After lunch we rang at St. Georges, Colegate. The bells were really nice, which set us up for a big fall at the next tower, St. Michaels, Coslany. The ropes at Coslany were springy, and the bells were a nightmare to ring. It was the best tower for comedy on the tour. In order to recover afterwards, half the group hit the pub, and the other half went for a soothing cup of tea at the house of an old UL member.
We then travelled to South Walsham and had a quick drink in the pub before ringing at the tower. Heather had a sudden creative burst and composed a touch of bob minor and Cambridge minor spliced. In the evening we were invited to join the NDA for a barn dance, led by the Stedman Stompers. We all slept well afterwards, having been thoroughly danced out.
On the Sunday morning we rang at St. Peter’s, Raymerston, followed by St. Andrew’s, Hingham. It was obvious that the bells at Hingham are not rung very often. They went very heavy, and were hard to stand. On the way to the next tower we stopped off for lunch and also managed to grab the local mini-ring, which was out for a special occasion. For some of us it was our first try on a mini-ring, but it went quite successfully.
The next tower was Wymondham Abbey. The locals came along here to help us out again, as only some of the group were strong ringers. After a good session on the bells, and a photo session, we continued to St. Remigus, Hethersett, the last tower of the tour. When we had pulled our last bells, we returned to Norwich train station to catch our trains back to Liverpool Street, and so ended the tour. With 10 towers and an impromptu mini-ring, we had a very busy weekend. A huge thanks to Jacqui and Chris from everyone who went, for a very enjoyable tour.
By Hellen Richardson