Outing to Bedfordshire 2014

Our annual outing for 2014 was again a trip down the Old North Road. Some of the group were based again at the St Neot’s campsite, others joined them for the day which started at Gamlingay. A fine ring of eight in a pleasant small town owned and managed since 1599, so we are told, by Oxford and Cambridge colleges.

Part of the group in the ringing chamber at Blunham

Part of the group in the ringing chamber at Blunham

Moving on to Sandy, the fifth proved difficult to ring up so our man was sent to investigate and found a door fouling the rope as it passed through the clock room. That made things better and Norwich was achieved here with the elite members of the group.

We made our own arrangements for lunch with Andrew and Matthew finding the pub in Blunham did not serve food on this Saturday lunchtime but were well satisfied at The Guinea in Moggerhanger. Remember the value of a guinea and you are old enough to be a bell ringer.

We had been warned that the 18 cwt six at Blunham were hard work so methods were chosen carefully with some exceptionally long tail ends adding to the challenge. The ringing chamber had an unusually large window overlooking the churchyard and fortunately one section opened to allow a cool breeze to circulate. Not a set of bells for a scorching summer day. This prompts a report on the weather which as usual after a dry week turned wet on Friday night just as the campers arrived on site.

The drive to Great Barford took us over the ancient Grade I Listed bridge which has offered safe passage over the Great Ouse since the early fifteenth century. The combination of bridge, Anchor Inn and church offer an attractive scene made popular by the provision of seats on an area of riverside grass.

02-Great Barford

The final ring warned of the dire consequences if the hammer was not removed before ringing but the steward made sure this operation had been carried out before hand. Another set of challenging bells prompted a request for Plain Bob Minimus with tenor cover. Stone tablets recorded repairs to the roof in 1898 and re-hanging and tuning of the bells in 1905. Speculation as to the benefactor A.M.D.G soon got out of hand and failed to offer a likely candidate.

Society of Framland Roingers members and friends at Great Barford

Society of Framland Roingers members and friends at Great Barford

The outing concluded with the customary BBQ back at the camp site and thankfully it had by then ceased raining and stayed dry.

Our thanks to Andrew for arranging another tour of interesting towers.