Catching the 06:21 train from Paddington is hardly the ideal start to a day, but after everyone had woken up a bit, it turned into a rather sunny morning, well that is until a rain storm caught us as we arrived at Ashcurch, fortunately Katie had the idea to book a taxi in advance, and so we arrived dry and chirpy at the pub for an eagerly anticipated breakfast.
The draw was at 11:00, and naturally the UL team were hoping to be drawn early so we could get on with a pub session. We were in fact drawn 7th out of 8 which meant that instead of the pub, we played a few delightful rounds of croquet. I must say that Rupert and Katie definitely had a knack to it, but I put this partly down to bit a vendetta that developed between the other 3 teams as Rupert and Katie stormed to victory in the game that I played.
At 2:30 we went to ring, with the added feeling of pressure not just from the competition but also from our fan base Richard, Helen, Harry & Turtle Saddleton, who came along to cheer us on. After the final team rang, the results were announced, judged by Robin Walker and Simon Woof and they were as follows:
- 1st Derby Diocesan Association
- 2nd Nottingham University Society
- 3rd Worcestershire & Districts Association
- 4th University of London Society (!)
- 5th Llandaff and Monmouth Association
- 6th Oxford Diocesan Guild
- 7th Irish Association
- 8th Leicester Diocesan Association
We were all very pleased with the result, especially as we had thought immediately after the ringing that it hadn’t gone very well. I think this is a testament to the (several) practices that we had arranged to before hand, which helped greatly with being comfortable with the method, improving striking and bringing the team closer together.
After some more drinks in the pub it was time to head off, but not after stocking up on a huge box of Strongbow and an artery-blocking amount of fast food. Most of us took the same return journey home, but we did have to say farewell to some of the team who headed elsewhere. It would be an understatement to suggest that the return trip was interesting, with no luggage rack safe from Rupert and Ryan and no toilet safe from Jacqui Bale after a few too many. I was glad that we changed trains before a guard came into our carriage. For more details see Rupert’s video on Facebook…
All in all it was a fantastic day, and particular thanks must be given to Andrew Hills for organising our team and importantly conducting a tough composition. (And thanks to Becca for booking my train tickets, as I couldn’t work out where I was supposed to be going…). Well done to all those who took part: Rosemary Hill, Becca Cullen, Jacqui Bale, Myself, Katie Lane, Ryan Noble, Ben Meyer, Rupert Littlewood, Andrew Brown and Andrew Hills.