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Central Branch Ringing Outing to Nottinghamshire - 17th September 2016

I arrived in Orston almost bang on time, but was unable to find the church. Normally winding the window down and listening does the trick. However I was on my motorbike so winding the window down wasn't an option. Lifting the visor made little difference either because I still had my ear plugs in.

S Mary's, Orston
The ringing chamber

Eventually I located the church and parked up. Inside the church there were several ringers, but not as many as I would have expected. I had a walk round the church while others were ringing and came across an unusual artefact on the north wall. This was drum that had been used at the Battle of Waterloo on 18th June 1815 and had subsequently been used by the local village band at the Orston Friendly Society Club feast which was always held on the second Friday in June.

The drum used at the Battle of Waterloo

Orston is a ground floor ring of about 9cwt and very pleasant they were as well. We rang on them for about an hour doing Rounds and Call Changes and Plain Bob, before moving on to the next tower.

This was Granby, another ground floor ring of 6. These were a bit heavier at about 13cwt. Also the ropes were very long, especially on the back bells. The webmaster demonstrated this by successfully completing a touch of Bob Minor on the tenor while kneeling down.

All Saints, Granby

A few more people had turned up and despite the length of the ropes we successfully rang a variety of methods and rounds and call changes. Eventually we rang the bells down and after everyone had left I locked up the tower, leaving the key in the "secret" place that the local Tower Captain had pointed out to us when we arrived.

Ringing Room at All Saints, Granby

This made me a bit late leaving so I had no car to follow to the next tower. I set off in what I thought was vaguely the right direction. Eventually I saw some cars I recognised. However they appeared to be ploughing their way (literally) across a field. Well I didn't fancy that much, not on two wheels, so I carried on along the main road.

Eventually I found a signpost to Colston Bassett so I followed that and eventually found the church. There were a few ringers outside, but not our full complement and I realised that my fellow ringers who had taken the agricultural detour had not yet arrived.

A few of us outside S John's, Colston Bassett
The rest of them arrive!

Eventually they hoved into view and parked up. Apparently the trusty SatNav had sent them down some farm track with a number of gates to be opened and closed. We followed the local TC round the back of the church and up some steps into the tower. There was a low section to negotiate which turned out was under the organ. The steep staircase brought us up round the organ and over the top of the swell box before depositing us in the ringing room. It would be interesting to see how loud the organ is when trying to reach the bells.

S John's, Colston Bassett
Preparing to ring up

Colston Bassett is a 22cwt ring of eight. We rang the front 6 up before turning our attention to the two back bells. We had two attempts at raising the tenor which the local TC assured us would go up wrong given a chance. In the end two of us raised it, just to make sure. James manfully raised the 7th on his own and then we got busy with some ringing. Apart from Rounds and Call changes we did Plain Bob Major, Grandsire Triples, Stedman Triples, Little Bob and half a course of Cambridge Surprise Major.

Ringing finished for the day

We eventually rang the 8 down and after thanking the local TC we departed. The webmaster had some carburettor problems on the way back to Lincoln and ended up limping along for a number of miles before eventually stopping to fix the problem (Ah! The joys of old motorbikes!). A few of the Waddington/Washingborough ringers ended up in the Three Horseshoes at Waddington for a drink before eventually calling it a night.

Jonathan Clark (webmaster)