Sibsey Trader Mill - BBQ, 2nd July 2011

On the afternoon of the 2nd July, a small group of us set off to Sibsey on the A16 some 5 miles north-east of Boston. It was a lovely sunny afternoon and we soon located the church just off the A16 and made our way up the stairs to ring.

Sibsey is an unusual tower in that the clock room is below the ringing room and you have to pass it on the way up. All the clock hammers are pulled off by having to pull wires up out of the floor instead of having to pull wires down from the ceiling.

The other unusual feature of Sibsey is the vast amount of glass in the ringing room. Each wall has a large glass window which gives a really nice open aspect, although the setting sun did eventually present something of a problem to ringers on the east side of the ringing room.

Ringing at St. Margeret, Sibsey
Ringing at St. Margeret, Sibsey

Ringing ranged from Rounds & Call Changes, to Plain Bob Major, to a Bob course of Cambridge Surprise Major. The bells were rung down at about 7:00pm and we made our way over to the Sibsey Trader Mill for the evening event of a BBQ.

Ample parking was available on an access road adjacent to the mill and and as we approached it was evident that a marquee had been erected, giving the re-assuring feeling that they have done this before.

Sibsey Trader Mill

Entrance to the BBQ was ticket only, but this included food, drink and entrance to the Windmill. Although none of the mill's 3 grindstones were currently being used, the sails were turning at a sedate pace and many of us made our way up the steep stairs through the various levels of machinery to the top of the windmill.

There is a gallery that runs round the outside of the mill about halfway up and from here splendid views across the fens can be had, while the sails pass silently a few feet in front of you. Boston Stump was quite clearly visible in the distance.

Ringers queue for the BBQ
The Marquee

Meanwhile, tea and coffee were being served (in china cups!) and the faint strains of an accordion could be heard. I know some ringers who play the accordion and thought perhaps they had bought their instuments with them, but it turned out to be one of the guys who runs the windmill. He serenaded the ringers as they queued for their supper.

Short video taken at Sibsey Trader Mill

The BBQ had the usual fair of burgers and assorted sausages, accompanied by an extensive range of salads and side dishes. Later in the marquee an impressive array of desserts was unveiled.

Other entertainment included a quiz and a raffle with a dozen or so different prizes.

The raffle is drawn

Time flies when you're having fun and before we knew it, it was nearly 10:00pm and the sun had disappeared. It started to get a bit chilly and people started to make their way home.

All in all, an excellent evening, very well organised and very well attended. It was good to see a healthy representation from other branches.

Many thanks to the Eastern Branch for what was evidently a great deal of thought and effort.

Jonathan Clark (webmaster)