Young Ringers' Festival, 23rd July 2016
I turned up in plenty of time at the Cathedral. I entered by the coffee shop and ordered a sandwich and a cup of coffee and then sat out in the Cloisters and waited for some young ringers to arrive. I didn't have to wait too long and by about 12:30 we had quite a crowd of us milling round.
The bulk of them decided to sit in the shade of the southeast corner of the Cloisters to eat their picnic lunch. Presently, the Right Reverend Christopher Lowson, Bishop of Lincoln turned up with his assistant the Reverend Sally McDougall. The Bishop mingled with the young ringers and their assorted adult companions and before we left the Cloisters we had a photograph of the Bishop with the young ringers.
We then made our way to the Ringers' Chapel where the Bishop addressed the ringers. The Bishop in fact learnt to ring in his youth, but did not progress much beyond Rounds & Call Changes. He feels that bellringing gives ringers an important connection to the church and that ringers provide a valuable service by proclaiming the presence of the church in the community.
The Cathedral Ringing Master, Jeremy Wheldon then said a few words on the history of the Chapel and the bells before we made our way up to the ringing room. There, Alistair Cherry a young ringer from St. Wulfram, Grantham led the ringing of the Cathedral bells for the next hour or so. The young ringers rang lots of rounds and call changes and the occasional bit of Plain hunt, largely unassisted by the adults.
Just before we left the Cathedral ringing room, we had an excursion out onto the balcony on the West front of the Cathedral. This gives excellent views of the Castle and over Lincoln city.
After ringing at the Cathedral we split in to two groups to ring in turn at Nettleham, Welton and Dunholme, which are all 6 bell towers. We spent about half and hour at each tower and after ringing the bells down at the last tower, we made our way at about 4:30pm to Dunholme Village Hall for tea.
Tea consisted of sausage / burger in a roll plus salad followed by an assortment of cakes. The mandatory tea and coffee was served as wellas orange juice. Towards the end of the tea, the young ringers presented Sue Faull with a gift to say thank you for all her hard work in organising the event. Just before 6:00pm we made our way outside, some of the larger children (see below) finding something to play on, before Tracey Black got us organised.
And so started the Mini Olympics. For this we split into 3 teams loosely consisting of a West Lindsey Branch team, a Central Branch team and a joint Northern/Eastern Branch team. We competed in such events as the sack race, frisbee throwing, welly wanging, the three legged race and the skipping race.
Once the Olympics were over the teams were awarded their medals. West Lindsey got the gold, Central took silver and Northern/Eastern the bronze. There were also gold medals for individuals who won particular events.
Middle - West Lindsey Branch (Gold)
Right - Northern/Eastern Branch (Bronze)
Having not completely worn the youngsters out, we embarked on a game of rounders, approximately 10 minutes for each side. It was getting towards 8:00pm and the adults were all pooped even if the youngsters were still going. Everyone said their farewells and we made our way home.
All in all, a very successful event with 26 young ringers taking part. There were quite a few who couldn't make it this year so hopefully we will see them next year. Many thanks to Sue Faull and her team of helpers who made it all possible.
See you next year!