The first tower of the day was Kingston All Saint’s. A fine 18cwt set of twelve which enabled the society’s band for the London Twelve Bell Striking Competition to have several practices at Yorkshire Max, as well as a good mix of more basic methods for the rest of us. While the striking contest band rung their last set of Yorkshire, many of the people sitting out left to get the bells up at our next tower.
This happened to be Saint John the Divine at Merton, an odd combination of three mid-1900s Taylor’s and seven brand new Whitechapel bells in a very small Tower that gave a very easy going and light ten, at roughly 11cwt. A mix of methods on seven bells and up were rang here as well as some call changes on the ten. Although the biggest take away from here was undoubtably the ropes, not only did the sallies all have individual colour patterns but the ropes of the back four had extra sallies underneath the main one. They’re supposedly used to make ringing up and down easier, but on bells this light wasn’t really necessary and instead just intrigued the ringers.
On the way to the third and final tower of the day, we all stopped off at the Wibbas Down Inn for some pints and lunch. Afterwards, those of us who had finished began making our way up to the last church, Saint Mary’s in Wimbledon, to be later followed by most of the others.
These were a 10cwt ring of eight that gave us another opportunity to ring some call changes and basic methods on seven and eight as well as well as a touch of Cambridge Surprise Major and a rather appropriate course of London Surprise Minor. Our trip round south London was then finished off with the first half of a pub crawl, visiting The Alexandra and the Hand & Racquet before catching the train back to Waterloo. Unfortunately, at this point me and a few others had to leave the group, but I can probably assume that the rest of you had a good time finishing off the crawl.
Finally, I hope I speak on behalf of all the Fresher’s who went in thanking all the members of the UL who came along and helped make this a great day out, especially those who planned out the Towers and the later pub crawl as well as pay for our (the fresher’s) food & drink.
By Rhys Eady Skillman