UL Winter Tour 2013

The day started quite early, getting the 9.04 train from St Pancras station. We were worried that we weren’t going to have very many people turn up as only a few of us got on Ben’s suggested train, however, by the time we got to St Alban’s (about 20 minutes later) we discovered our worries were unfounded as people gradually turned up to meet at the first tower – St Peter’s.

St Peter’s is a 10 bell tower, which are fairly easy to ring. When we arrived there was quite a lot excitement from as some of the “keener” ringers spotted the set of hand bells in the tower and got to have a grab on these as well as the tower bells. Hills ran the tower and we attempted some Grandsire, Stedman and Surprise Royal – although with limited success!

The next tower was St Alban’s Abbey. There was a long and interesting way to get up to the ringing room, through some narrow passages. The bells are a new ring but aren’t very easy as some of the ropes were hidden and this lead to confusion in the call changes which we consequently fired out! Here, Ben ran the ringing and we attempted everything from Rounds and Call Changes to Stedman Cinques, with better success this time barring those Call Changes!

We then went for Lunch in the Goat Inn, down one of the small side streets on the way out of town. There were a few problems ordering food but eventually everyone got food and lots of beer.
From the pub, we then followed the river all the way to St Michael’s, an 8 bell tower where Ryan and Myself ran the ringing jointly. Although it was after lunch, arguably we achieved some of the best ringing of the day here, with touches of Bob Doubles up to Spliced Surprise Major.

The next tower was quite a walk out of the centre and a lot of time was allowed for getting there. Upon arrival, we had plenty of spare time and popped across the road to the King Harry pub. Ben and Chris B had gone to an alternate pub en route and turned up to the tower late and inebriated! Rosemary ran the ringing at this 6 bell tower; we had some traditional UL-style ringing up and down here, which resulted in complete carnage! We then proceeded to ring a variety of doubles and minor methods. Some of those who had consumed more alcohol ended up with a verbal warning from Rosemary for silliness in the tower.

We left swiftly to catch the train back to London in time to get ready for Jenny’s 21st Birthday celebrations later that evening. A good day was had by all and thanks go to Ben for organising it.

By Becca Cullen with typing skills by Ryan.