Freshers’ Tour 2007

My first UL tour was “along the western end of the Piccadilly line”. Being unfamiliar with navigation of public transport I left plenty of time to arrive and obviously got there ridiculously early — time for some shopping! The theme for the day seemed to be 8-bell towers in F with the first two starting at Ealing. Groups of the UL then arrived at the correct time and Nick Hartley started off the day by running the first tower where we had a nice mixture of ringing for all to have a decent go.

After finding out I was in charge at the second tower however, I realised I really should have paid attention! The bells were pretty unpredictable with the second and tenor bell being especially characterful in dropping at peculiar, unplanned moments! Again, it was another good tower.

Lunch ensued at “The Three Tuns” in Uxbridge, which was short tube journey from South Ealing. The UL enjoyed good food, good beer —‘Poodle Quality Control’ certainly saw to that— and some returned later after the last tower.

An advance party was sent on to ring for a wedding at the next tower (Uxbridge) — it seemed more time was spent in silly antics on the roof looking through the windows and making faces at the slightly worried congregation! The rest of the UL duly arrived, having dragged themselves out of the pub and the ringing was run wonderfully by Katie Town. Unfortunately for the Poodle, an incriminating photo of him sleeping was taken at this tower!

The real test of the day was in getting from the third to the fourth tower whilst avoiding the pub that came between them. I believe a few couldn’t resist and we may have lost a small number in this fine establishment on the way there. The last tower was run by Laura Matheson where more nice ringing was had.

The UL split in to several groups at this point, a section went off to ring handbells at Lian’s, some went back to the lunchtime pub, others went to another pub closer to the dinner venue. Somehow, with varying means, most convened at the ‘Jugged Hare’ near Victoria Station for more drinks and ‘shenanigans’ before a lovely meal was had at the Rochester Row Curry House. Whilst some stayed for cocktails, others returned to the ‘Jugged Hare’ for more pubbage! Lots of thanks go to Clara Westlake for organising such an enjoyable outing.

By Jacqueline Bale