The BBQ summer that was forecast last year has, at last, appeared. Probably, like a good number of you, Alan and I had our summer holiday at the beginning of the month. We took our motorhome over the border to Scotland. Alan had some peals arranged as part of the Cumberlands Country weekend but during the whole of the time I did not touch a bell rope. However, I managed some lovely walks of between three and six miles. We made good use of our bus passes during the first week as we had not quite reached Scotland (where they are not accepted). We had a trip to Alnwick Castle on the bus and were lucky enough on both journeys to si
During the holiday we were able to renew old ringing friendships and acquaintances. One couple we had not seen for over forty years, it was only the name that gave them away otherwise they were unrecognisable. I find it interesting that some of us change very little and others an amazing amount. We did all the usual tourist spots of Edinburgh Castle, walked the Royal Mile and visited Holyrood Palace and gardens.
I had organised a Plain Hunt session for a group on 24 July but, sadly due to holidays etc., I was unable to find enough helpers to give the learners a fair chance. Hopefully September will be back to normal. In the afternoon I was invited to ring in a quarter peal at Alfriston for the birth Prince George. Pauline (Kennard) called a very good quarter of mixed doubles. It set me thinking on how many of our ringers ever call anything apart from “Look To etc.”. How many times has a band caught hold and there is nobody able to call a touch? At Hailsham most of the ringers are able to call changes. I encourage this at an early stage by calling themselves to Queens and back and gradually progressing until they are competent to call changes on eight. Turns are taken at calling touches and those who feel able are encouraged to call quarters. The Association needs more people to learn to call so that eventually they are able to conduct. If you would like to learn to call why but have never been asked let someone know.
On 25 July I joined the Young Ringers Take 9 for the annual summer gathering. We walked, talked and rung! It was a lovely day. My role was to bring up the rear and to ensure that nobody got lost. I had an easy task. It was lovely to meet some new people. I am sure there will be a report in due course giving a full account of the time together.
Alan and I attended the Eastern Division meeting on 27 July at Heathfield and made eight! Our Ringing Master, Diana Day, decided to concentrate on Doubles and Minor as this was most beneficial to those attending. Although it was a very small group, we had a pleasant time.
Our God Daughter visited us on 29 with her children. Some of you will remember Margaret Smith, daughter of Ann and Ian Smith. We had a lovely day at Batemans helping the children follow an animal trail. The family had to leave in time for them to get back as it was their practice night and Matthew, who is eight, did not want to miss it! It was also Hailsham’s practice the same evening. I think the heat had got to many of the band and concentration was certainly lacking. However, we finished with a good lower.