Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers

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FSG Walking Rour, 26th September
(organised by Wendy Mace)

Bledington, St Leonard

This year's walking tour was again blessed with fantastic weather. We started at Kingham, where preparations were being made for a wedding later in the afternoon - if we had known we could have reversed the walk and finished by ringing for the wedding as they had struggled to find a band!! The church is a gem with very unusual stone-ended pews and the bells were very tuneful.

We then split into the walkers and the drivers and headed off for Bledington, crossing the mainline railway track and the river Colne in the journey. Bledington Church looked resplendent, having had a wedding the previous week and with the harvest festival decorations as well. The ringing floor has a new staircase and has a lovely aspect looking down into the nave of the church. Here we met some young ladies doing their bronze DoE and one of them was a ringer - with a little encouragement she joined us for part of the ringing - and with several other visitors at the church we think our efforts were appreciated.

By now it was time to repair to the Kings Head on the village green for some liquid refreshment and several of the group enjoyed a light lunch whilst the rest of us settled for our sandwiches.

Two of the group then had to leave us but the rest carried on, again some walking some driving to our last tower of the day at Oddington. Another lovely church, with magnificent remains of medieval wall painting. Here we were joined again the by DoE girls on their trek and with tower 'captain' Margaret we were able to ring very satisfactorily. Again, lots of visitors to the church happily taking photos of us ringing so all in all this was a very sociable tour.

L-R: Ted Copson, Allen Turner, Sue Bacon, Roland Merrick, Wendy Mace, Ginny White and Peter Kenealy

Here we bid farewell to the 'drivers' and 4 of us completed the walk back to Kingham, past the 'rear' of Daylesford, the well-known shop and cafe. We reached Kingham exactly on time at 4.30pm and the wedding there was still in progress as we left the village for home.

A lovely day and it was a shame it clashed with so many weddings and other ringing events - even as I drove through Stow on the way home I heard the bells ringing there: no doubt another wedding!

That was the fourth walking ringing tour and all of them have been held on wonderfully sunny days - long may the tradition continue.

Wendy Mace