Dinner Weekend 2011

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The Dinner weekend this year started at Spitalfields with an unusually low turnout for some open ringing. However some good ringing was enjoyed including some silly Bristol. The turnout to the Gun following the ringing was much better showing that many people were doing the classic UL trick of skipping the ringing and going straight to the pub!

On Saturday morning the day began very early for some members who were attempting a peal at Danes at 9am. Unfortunately it was lost after two hours of ringing. The quarters arranged were equally unsuccessful, only superlative at Pimlico being scored of the three attempted. In the afternoon, following a swift pint at the Queens Arms, the traditional ring at the Queen’s Tower was enjoyed. Well, I say enjoyed… although some newcomers were insistent on being very happy to sit out after one ring and we were kept entertained by the antics of the Jasper family as Peter failed to pull the tenor off for about 5 goes in the first touch and Linda tried to chime the tenor on the way down and fell off the box in a spectacular manner! After the Queen’s Tower there was open ringing at Kensington which was also a grab for many people. The much easier going bells gave us a chance to ring more than the rounds and call changes we had been restricted to before and everyone had a good ring.

The 66th UL Dinner was held at Browns, Old Jewry and a very generous champagne reception was held as everyone arrived before the dinner. Canna and I arrived very late as she had come straight from winning the Christchurch Regatta back in Oxford and had to get changed at the venue but luckily we didn’t miss out on any of the food as it was an impressive and very tasty menu on offer!

Following the dinner and the toasts came the moment I’d been dreading, first Mike Trimm stood and made a very well researched speech, having spent the previous day delving in the UL archives for some comedy gems. Next James Forster spoke, mostly picking on Heather and Tim as they were easy targets. Finally I stood and said my piece and it’s lucky I kept it short as the sweepstake was won by Katie Town whose guess was very close to the upper limit of the estimates!

After the speeches, the real business of the dinner was begun and most people headed onto the dancefloor, swapping heels for dancing shoes on the way! This year the DJ had been prewarned and no ‘cool’ music was attempted all night. However Jess was shocked at the Freshers’ lack of knowledge of classic dance moves such as those to Tragedy!

After the last dance had been danced, everyone trickled off home, another fantastic dinner over.

Thanks to Rupert and Charles for their brilliant organisation, I look forward to next year!

by Mariko Whyte