Dinner Weekend 22nd-24th Nov 2008

Dinner weekend kicked off with general ringing at Jewry on Friday night. Unfortunately it has taken me so long to write this report that I am unable to remember much about it except that there were loads of people there and we rang all sorts of stuff including some good 8-spliced. The ringing was followed by drinking in Ye Olde Watling.

On Saturday morning quarter peals of Yorkshire Major and Plain Bob Triples were scored at Hart Street and Wimbledon respectively. There was also a peal attempt at Battersea. Most of the band met at 10am. An hour later, Roger arrived.

We rang a not uneventful fifty minutes of the peal: the first ‘bob’ was put in by someone who wasn’t the conductor; some members of the band seemed to be ringing their own special variations on Yorkshire Major; and it finally fell apart when it became apparent that a certain Fresher hadn’t had any breakfast after getting wasted the night before, and almost passed out. We managed to revive her with mints and orange juice, and by the time we got to the pub, said Fresher was more than ready for her first pint of the day…

Saturday afternoon saw general ringing at the Queen’s Tower (definitely made easier by the three pints consumed with lunch) and St Mary Abbot’s, Kensington. There was then time for a couple of drinks in the Prince of Wales before getting ready for the dinner.

This year the dinner was again held at the Calico on Watling Street. It began at 7pm with a champagne reception. Just over 70 guests sat down to an excellent dinner. Highlights included the ever-popular UL bingo and the opportunity to take wine with people of your choice. The speeches were given by Laura Matheson, the Rev’d Oliver Ross (the vicar at Hart Street) and the Master, Nick Hartley. The Master’s speech focussed on the freshers, especially one of them ‘getting to know’ people in London. Mark Williams won the sweepstake on how long the speeches would last. Copious amounts of alcohol were consumed and Andrew Bradford earned himself the title of Captain Vom at the impressively early time of half past ten. The disco once again showcased the legendary dancing ability of UL members.

Luckily there was no service ringing at Hart Street on Sunday morning. The AuGM took place in the afternoon and it was remarkable how many people who had been at the dinner had vanished by meeting time… Many things were discussed, many biscuits were eaten and much gin was consumed. For more details I suggest you take a look at the minutes. After the meeting we went for (yet more) drinks, this time at the Liberty Bounds. I believe a hardcore few also went on to another pub afterwards!

All in all, a highly enjoyable weekend. Many thanks go to Clara for her organisation.

By Heather Forster