Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers

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The History of Guild's Annual Walk

Some years ago, before our current editor (he says he's only temporary), I was asked by Pam Copson to write up a walk to put in the FSG Newsletter, as it was getting a bit on the thin side. Pam asked me, as she knew I was the Rights of Way inspector for South Warwickshire and that walking the footpaths was also a hobby. After some thought I decided that the walk should connect with some churches, and not be too long for the average person, including children. This is how I arrived at the proposal for the first walk, which included three churches, Brailes, Sutton-under-Brailes and Cherington, in a circuit of approximately six miles.

Some time after it was printed in the Newsletter, Ted Copson asked me when I was actually going to do the walk, and so I arranged the first one of what is now an annual event, with ringing in each church. I did arrange a couple more, but my health has deteriorated to the extent that I can no longer walk any distance in order to write them up.

Each time a walk is done I am reminded of Pam and how much she contributed to the Guild, so I hope the walks will continue.

It would be nice if someone, perhaps in the Worcestershire or Oxfordshire area, could sort out one using the public rights of way and quiet minor roads (I cannot see any obvious routes on my maps).

I have suggested another one in South Warwickshire, but it is a large figure of eight although with some nice views, woodlands and a hill or two — and what is good for walkers: no stiles. It would mean, however, that it would mean two rings at the same church unless cars were used to another close-by tower. Refreshments could be arranged in the one church, or there is a pub nearby for lunch.

In conclusion and from a very personal view, these walks will always be in memory of Pam.

Allen Turner

(Wendy Mace put together a very pretty walk along the boundary between Worcs and Glos a year or two back, visiting Willersey, Broadway and Saintbury churches. The weather that day was utterly glorious, which, when walking along the Cotswold ridge, afforded lovely views over the Vale of Evesham and beyond.

Pam did, indeed, contribute much to the Guild and I hold her in high esteem, too. I'm inclined to think that she was the one who propelled it up through a few gears to give us much of the foundation that we have today. She certainly revolutionised the Newsletter. I have always said that I have largely followed Pam's design on this. Had she continued I feel sure Pam would have developed her Newsletters to the current standard and, very probably, to well beyond. Ed)