We were lucky with the weather, but unlucky with the clash of tours, which reduced our numbers slightly, but not enough to spoil a very worthwhile visit to six well-chosen towers in Wiltshire. Everyone was on time and at 7.10am David Adams, John Carroll, Ted Copson, Stuart and Michael Cummings, Peter Kenealy, Richard, Sophia and Ben Lewis-Skeath, John Nicholls, Juliet Reynolds and Tim Woodgate climbed aboard a mini-bus driven by sometime Moreton ringer Andy Teague.
We made such good time that we arrived at Christ Church, Bradford-on-Avon, with an hour to spare. Here we were joined by Sue Bacon, Roland Merrick and our friends from Fairford, Andrew and Joanne Roberts. The 1923 Gillett & Johnston 12cwt 8 were already up and so we went straight into Grandsire Triples. Call changes, St Simon's Triples, plain hunt Triples and Plain Bob Major were successful, but Double Norwich Court Bob Major proved beyond us.
Richard Turner joined us at the next tower, St Katherine's, Holt. The 9cwt 6 has a medieval 5th cast in about 1475 by the Bristol Foundry. The remaining bells were originally by Warners, but were recast in 1925 by Mears & Stainbank. Here we rang the usual popular 5 and 6 bell methods, but with an added variation - Dedworth.
Excellent navigation by Andy overcame roadworks and street blockages and we arrived on time at Melksham, where Andrew Gunn joined the party. The 1924 Taylor 8 (18cwt) went well and we added Stedman and Single Oxford to our repertoire.
Lunch was at The George in Lacock, the famous, picturesque village owned entirely by The National Trust.
The beer was good, the food passable, but the service was intermittent to say the least!
The bells at St Cyriac, Lacock, 6 (12cwt) go well, but the small ringing chamber meant that at times the desired combinations of ringers were not there. However, we did manage to ring John C's speciality, St Clement's.
No tiredness was discernable at the two Chippenham towers, St Andrew's 8, 18cwt and St Paul's 8, 12cwt, and the ringing was generally very good. Indeed, the best ringing of the day was the final touch of Stedman Triples conducted by Richard.
Our thanks go to Richard for organising the towers and the mini-bus.
John Nicholls & Peter Kenealy