Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers

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FSG Walking Tour, 26th September

And there they burst upon us, the onion domes
(from John Betjeman's description of Sezincote in his Summoned by Bells)

Approaching Bourton-on-the-Hill

The walkers at Bourton-on-the-Hill: (L to R) Wendy Mace, Allen Turner, Ginny White, Janet Blackwell, Sue Bacon, Anne Bourne, Ted Copson

Allen Turner again organised what has become an Annual Event in the Guild calendar and for the third year running the weather was superb.

Our group consisted of ringers, non-ringers, walkers and non-walkers, this is a day for all to enjoy. Ringing commenced at St David's in Moreton, where we were joined by Rob Stansbury, who took a break from the annual Churchyard Tidy-up to augment the ringing team. The bells handled well and a short touch of Bob Doubles was accomplished before it was time to head off for the start of the walk. Rob Harvey had heard the bells and come across to say hello and wish us well for our day out.

The walk to Longborough took a little over an hour, a gentle gradient mostly over grass land with opportunity for blackberry picking - and very good they were too. Coming in to the village Allen was there to greet us and walk around to the Church, where we were joined by local ringers Anne Bourne from Blockley and tower member, Phillip. A mixture of ringing to suit all those present again took place and then it was back downstairs to the churchyard where picnics were enjoyed in the glorious sunshine. A group of American tourists who had heard the bells were most interested to learn about bellringing and Allen and Ted were in their element advising them!

Then it was on with the packs and the walkers amongst us set off for Bourton on the Hill and excellent views were enjoyed across the Moreton plain out to Brailes Hill, and also fine views of Sezincote House.

The church at Bourton was receiving final decoration for the forthcoming Harvest Festival and the flower arrangements were truly superb - we complimented the arrangers on their skill. Sadly we found the bells a bit of a challenge and were glad they were the last on our tour rather than the first. Very hard work, but never mind. However, when we went to sign the visitors book we were suitably chastened to see that a visiting band in August had rung a touch of some obscure method, the name of which escapes me, which only added to our sense of inadequacy!

The final walk was more or less downhill back to Moreton where some of the walkers were pleased to avail themselves of a local tea shop. It had been a long day and quite tiring, but extremely enjoyable. Many thanks to Allen for researching the route and getting it all booked up for us.

There will be another walking tour next year though Allen has stepped down from being organiser, but has already provided me with the information to put the tour together.

Wendy Mace

Two old village worthies, Fred and Bert, were discussing the progress of a young lady who was learning to ring at the local church, particularly as it was among an all-male band.

Bert (with concern): "But how's 'er getting on up thurr, Fred, (then quietly) with - y'know - the bad language?"
Fred: "Oh, arhh! (pause) Got so bad they 'ad to tell 'er to tone it down."

(Thank you, John Middleton)


(Stone face seen on a wall at 'Ye Olde Red Horse' pub in Evesham after a Bell Tower practice, the member in question kindly donating his specs for the photo to make recognition easier.)

Click here for a hint :    look carefully at this photo . . .