ULSCR Dinner Weekend 2022

Last weekend saw the weekend the UL had been waiting for since 2019… An actual real-life UL Dinner!  Following Covid and a lack of water at our venue last year, it was time for the UL to celebrate their 77th Annual Dinner.

The weekend started with ringing at St Magnus on Friday evening, this went well with the tower surviving unscathed (unlike other notable towers that the UL has visited recently!)  We are sure that the local England Football fans enjoyed the ringing at the exact time of the match…! This was our revenge for not being able to find a quiet pub for a Pre-Practice Pint.

Finding a post ringing pub proved a bit of a challenge but the UL persisted and the evening ended with some hardcore members heading out for curry.

Saturday saw the most successful dinner weekend ringing in recent history! 5 QPs were scored, including one by a band of undergraduates and another by past secretaries of the society.  The current master as well as 7 past masters successfully scored a Masters’ peal of Bristol Surprise Major at Chelsea Old Church.  General ringing was also held at multiple towers during the day which was enjoyed by our visitors. 

As the evening drew near the UL congregated at a local Martini bar for Happy Hour, things were going well until a tray of glasses was dropped on one of our members by the bar staff – ‘Eau de Pineapple daiquiri’ was the scent of the rest of the evening! Luckily no one was harmed by the chaos (and the UL were not to blame for once…)

We arrived at the Dinner venue to some confusion with a number of other diners who were enjoying their quiet Saturday night due to a mishap with the bookings, little did they know what they were in store to witness!  There was great celebration early in the evening when hostage negotiations concluded with the safe return of our beloved mascot ‘Little Bob’ who had been ‘bear-napped’ at the SUA by the University of Bristol Society.  Luckily he was returned unharmed in exchange for the SUA trophy.

Following a delicious meal, with lots of toasts and taking of wine, we had three excellent speeches.  The toast to the visitors was given by past Master Phil Barnes who managed to make it in the nick of time despite ASLEF’s best efforts.  He gave the visitors and the UL excellent advice with special mentions to each of our visiting societies – an excellent speech! Kate Jennings (Master of the CUG) followed with another highly amusing and well delivered speech that included an Orange Juice toast (in true CUG fashion) to the UL.  Finally our current Master Toby closed off the speeches with his fantastic round up of the 2022 events and UL mishaps.  At that point the sweepstake ended (just under 42 minutes!) with a very excited Ryan receiving the winnings.

It was then time for the highlight of the evening – the infamous UL dinner! Dancing was as exuberant as ever and carried on late into the evening.  The Browns staff definitely seemed to enjoy our Conga line, the Macarena, Grease Medley and the Christmas classic ‘All I want for Christmas is you.’  We even had a group of passersby try to gate crash, the draw of the UL classic tunes was so much! 

The evening drew to a close with everyone safely returning home (some later than others – I’m told due to Bank station being closed but there was talk of an after party in Baron’s Court)

Sunday Morning after the night before saw some of the UL wake with sore heads, this didn’t stop an intrepid group making it to Southwark Cathedral for Sunday morning ringing.  Breakfast and service ringing at Hart Street followed, despite the state of some of our members the ringing went well and was followed by Lunch and more pints before our AuGM, this finished in record time of less than an hour.  Drinking continued well into Sunday evening by the hardy students within the society and the dinner weekend was over for another year.

With thanks to all of those who were involved in the Dinner organisation, particularly Josie Godfrey, as well as those who arranged the ringing.  It was a really enjoyable weekend and great to catch up with all those who were able to attend.  We look forward to celebrating the 78th Annual ULSCR Dinner on the 25th November 2023!

Jennifer Willis

ULSCR – organising the best society dinners since 1945