Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers

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Recent Mid-Week Monthly Tours

Frank Spiers hasn't been quite up to the mark recently, so Sandra Parker and Isobel Murphy have kindly provided reports:

July's outing was arranged by Colin Lord. The day started with a ring of 8, 12cwt, at Byfield in Northamptonshire and what a lovely day it was: warm weather and sunshine. After this it was over the border into Warwickshire and to Farnborough a 6 cwt ring of 6. Here the space in the ringing room was at a premium and it was a question of 1 in 1 out. Next was the lunch stop up at Edgehill with fine views over the Warwickshire countryside. Here we were to be seen with sun cream and trying to find the shade. Lunch over it was down to Oxhill, a ring of 5, 8cwt. We are used to hearing Surprise methods being called for, so it was a change for all Doubles methods. Our final tower of the day was Tysoe, a 12cwt ring of 6.

Sandra Parker

Unusually both August and September's tours were based in Northamptonshire, organised by Jill and Mike Harvey and Brenda Dixon and Alan Marks respectively. Both months involved ringers from a wide area with a mix of new and old faces and some who are only occasional participants.

August's tour was in the countryside surrounding Towcester, starting at Blisworth. The second tower was the estate church at Easton Neston and we were treated to the picturesque view of the Baroque manor house as we drove through the park to the church. Lunch was in the centre of Towcester and provided us with an opportunity to wander around the town before making our way to Pottersbury and Wicken for the afternoon ringing.

In September we travelled further into eastern Northamptonshire as Brenda and Alan had designed a tour around specific requests for 'grabs' from some of our regular attendees. Apart from the 6 at Stanwick, the tour featured some heavy 8s at Finedon, Rushden and Raunds, and most of the towers presented differing challenges. One highlight was the immaculate ringing chamber with numerous wooden peal boards in Rushden, a testament to the quality of ringing in the area. For those interested in church architecture, Finedon and Rushden feature the only examples of decorative 'Strainer Arches' to be found in English parish churches. Lunch at Wetherspoons in Rushden provided excellent value for those of us who enjoy curry.

Thanks to all the organisers for providing interesting bells and good lunch venues and to all the participants for their good-natured companionship. All are welcome to attend and every effort is made to accommodate all standards of ringing.

Isobel Murphy