University of London Society of Change Ringers

Picnic – Hyde Park 2012

At Hampstead Heath Hyde Park

In the week running up to the picnic, various emails were flying around with details of the picnic. At first it was going to be at Hampstead Heath, where we were told to bring swimwear so we could swim in the ponds, then as the day got closer, the weather didn’t look so great, so Mariko began looking for alternative options, including the Hart Street church hall and the Imperial students’ union, before finally making the decision on the Sunday morning by a mass text message, Facebook posts and email that we would meet in Hyde Park by the Albert Memorial with the intention of having an outside picnic and that if the weather turned bad, we could instead decamp to somewhere else.

I turned up slightly late with 8 others as we all had been ringing in the Danes quarter peal and had to make a quick trip to Tesco for supplies. When we arrived, we thought that we saw the UL spot with a group of look-a-like characters and we walked over to see that on a closer look we had to quickly turn round because the people we were waving at were definitely not the right group. Five minutes later and we had found the mass of UL sat not too far from the Serpentine waters. A lot of people had made the effort to come out on this grey and dreary day, which was quite surprising given the large number of locations that people could have turned up to.

There was a brilliant spread of food and drink with plenty to go around and not a drop of rain in the air, although the clouds seemed to be showing a sign of things to come. After everyone had enough to eat and drink the games began, starting with Rounders, followed by Frisbee, Piggy in the Middle and then later some other sort of game where Tom S managed to lose the one of the UL balls; apparently we will get a new one at some point. We could also hear the sound of the Queen’s tower bells at Imperial College ringing in the background from our picnic spot!

Other activities included Andrew and Chris R trying juggling, which worked to some extent and then a number of us tried to climb a tree (fortunately not getting stuck), as well as Ben and Jess’s sword fight drama – which Jess won! Whilst all of this was going on; Jacqui, who was still recovering from her wine “tasting” (glugging?) event on the previous evening managed to earn herself a certain hat, which meant that it had changed hands/heads in under 24 hours (I won’t remind people of the nasty details apart from saying that it was a good job there was three plastic pint cups left over!)

Fortunately, the forecast rain had held off right up until the time when it came to clean up our mess. As we were packing up, we had a visitor turn up; a dog (no, not Peter) which Ben dealt with by running after it; only to find the owner was not far from us. Once cleared up, and Hyde Park returned to its normal state, we made a dash to avoid the rain. Somehow we managed to split up, both groups taking a different route to South Kensington station and we met again at the station; only to decide that we would be sad and take three separate routes to get to Rupert’s bowling surprise at Finsbury Park – which was the evening’s entertainment.

Anyway, a good day was had by all. Thanks go to Mariko who managed to organise us and the ever-changing venue. I’ve also heard that Jenny would like to thank Jacqui for taking over the previously mentioned hat.

By Ryan Noble