It was the 20th of October, 2012, when the UL set off for Staines. And while this year’s batch of freshers might not have been as sizeable as that of previous years, this did not keep us from having a brilliant tour. Departing bright and early from Waterloo, we first made our way to Egham, and our first tower. Although we had to compete with the sound of a church band performing in the nearby hall, and the constant threat of being stung by bees, some excellent ringing was nonetheless achieved here.
Next, we made our way to Staines, and the home tower of our very own Heather Forster, where I was asked to take charge of the ringing. While this admittedly proved more difficult than I’d expected (choosing a method, placing a band, and then remembering to ask someone to call) it was an interesting experience, and we managed some reasonably successful ringing. Also noteworthy was when we found record of Heather’s christening in this very church!
Perhaps unsurprisingly, some of the tour’s most notable moments took place in the local Wetherspoons. For instance, we were treated to a vast and colourful array of shots. Chris Rimmer arguably drew the short straw here, and ended up with an exceptionally strong shot. Needless to say, the reactions were priceless. I, unfortunately, also have cause to remember my pint of Ruddles, which was best described as ‘opaque’. C’est la vie!
After a third tower in which David Phillips inevitably showed me up by doing an excellent job of organising the ringing, and a second trip to the pub, we made our way back to London, where we enjoyed some delicious sushi and ended up at the pub in Blackfriars. And it was here that former President Peter Jasper made an entrance. All in all, I can say that it was a very successful first outing for the new freshers.
Thanks to Heather Forster for organising the tour!
By Ben Barnes