This year the UL were invited by Tom Lawrence to take part in the Middlesex Diocesan Guild and London County Association striking competition to be held at Isleworth. Invitation accepted, so in true UL style, a practice was arranged the Thursday before, without all the band and rung in fine style.
Saturday dawned, bright and hot, remaining so all day, much to the disappointment of the those revising or having been made to ring in a striking competition by the Master!
The draw was scheduled for half past three which was clearly too early – not one team was complete, but curiously we were the most complete so had to set the bar! This proved a problem as Becca got confused with tower dedications and late trains but with a considerable amount of devotion and stamina managed to get there just after the tryout and in time to ring… Thankfully!
This, unlike most county level striking competitions was very relaxed and informal, the method requirements being to ring between 220-260 changes of Triples or Major. Our touch was a very pretty 224 of Grandsire Triples discovered on the internet. After the practice we had to do the rather bizarre, verging on eccentric signal of ringing bells 1, 4, 6 and 8!? We rang respectably with cataclysmic errors sorted out ASAP.
Unfortunately we could not go straight to the pub as a few members of our band were booked up to strengthen a ladies band, or complete it would be more accurate, as they both went wrong! Shortly after their touch Chris’ phone made a bid for freedom and ended up down a drain! After much amusement and dithering, Geraldine Forster saved the day by providing a litter picker that with some sticks reunited Chris with his phone. We adjourned to the pub!
The results were presented in the church hall complete with an array of cakes and sandwiches that even we could not finish! The results were close and as follows:
1. Western district 88%
2. South and West Ladies 82 %
3. UL 81%
4. Foster Lane 80%
5. Stepney 79%
6. Middlesex Ladies 78%
We returned to the pub again, but accompanied by others this time for some beer and then a return to London. It turns out that crossing London takes a lot of time so we left well before dark to ensure nobody got lost! Tom Lawrence, however, claimed that we were the real winners though for staying in the pub the longest! All in all a very nice afternoon out to a river side tower.
Thank you to everyone who rang!
By Andrew Hills