On Wednesday 23 August the weather started dull, but soon brightened up, just in time for nine young ringers from Dorset and Wiltshire to enjoy a day out in Swanage and Purbeck. All were supported by adult family and friends to make a party of twenty two in all. Some came by minibus and others by car.
We started with ringing at Worth Matravers before moving to ring at Corfe Castle. We all then gathered ‘on platform 2’ at Corfe Castle ‘Central’ to catch the 14:02 to Swanage ‘Templemeads’ on the Swanage Railway – with a great deal of waving to and from the passengers and bystanders. Then a few hours ‘at the seaside’ before ringing at Swanage on the eight bells and back on the 17:20 train to Norden and then on to the final ring of the day at Wool.
Everyone seemed to have a good time and we had some nice ringing along the way. Plans are already being hatched for next Spring and a trip to Wiltshire and the canals.
A full report from our ‘cub reporter’ will follow soon.
Guild Master, Salisbury DG
It was a bit grey and chilly when the minibus picked us up at Bere Regis, but by the time we reached our first tower at Worth Matravers, the sun had come out. There were nine of us, from 10 to 17 years old, and several older helpers on the outing. It was quite a long walk down the hill to the church, and the wind was a bit cold. We started with rounds and call changes, and although the bells are quite light, some of the young ringers found them to be a bit of a handful. The ringing chamber was quite small, but there was a balcony overlooking the church where those not ringing could sit and play games on their phones! We all had several good rings there, including Plain Hunt, Plain Bob and Grandsire Doubles.
Having rung down, we climbed back up the hill to the bus for the short journey to Corfe Castle. We all got off there, but Christopher, our driver had to take the bus to a different car park some way away. We had some good ringing, the heavier bells seeming to go better than Worth Matravers. While we were there, we had to have someone standing in the doorway in case any visitors tried to go on up and into the belfry amongst the bells which apparently sometimes happens. Christopher arrived back from parking the bus just in time to call some call changes before we had to lower the bells.
The sun was really hot, though there was still a bit of a wind. Most of us went to the picnic area at the station for our lunch. While we were there, a diesel train stopped. The engine was very loud, and made conversation very difficult. Then a steam train came in from the other direction, and we all went onto the platform to watch it and photograph it. It gave us a toot as it left.
A little later our own steam train came and we got on board for our journey to Swanage. Although we had reserved seats, most of us spent the time leaning out of the windows and waving at the campers in the fields. The train was quite slow, and we were quite near the back so we didn’t get much smoke in our eyes.
We had an hour and a half free time in Swanage, and although I believe someone was brave enough to go into the sea, everyone else spent their time doing other things. I had planned to go to the putting course, but saw the funfair on the way and spent my time and lots of Grandad’s money there instead. Thanks Grandad!
We had been told that the church was opposite the station, and right at the top of a steep hill we could see a steeple. So up the hill we went. When we got there, we found it wasn’t the right tower, so we had to go back down to near the bottom again. The eight bells at Swanage were the heaviest of the day, but were very nice to ring. Rounds and call changes on the eight was followed by plain hunt on seven. Then some of us more experienced young ringers let the adults join us to ring Plain Bob Triples and Grandsire Triples.
Back at the station, we saw the steam train arrive and watched as the engine was uncoupled and taken to the other end of the train for the return journey. Then it was all aboard for the run back past Corfe Castle to Norden where the mini-bus was parked.
Our last tower was at Wool. We had a short tour of Wool while trying to find the church, and then found that there was nowhere to park the mini-bus. So we all got off and left Christopher to try and turn the bus in the narrow lane and go off to find somewhere to park it. The ringing chamber is quite small and tucked away behind the organ with a little narrow gap to get in and out. Everyone had a good ring, though the tenor was a bit of a handful. Rounds, call changes, plain hunt and plain bob were successfully rung before we let the adults have a go at Stedman and Cambridge. A nice smooth lower (to make up for the untidy raise) ended the day.
Our thanks to all the adults for their help and patience, and to Robert for organising a very enjoyable and unusual day out, with lots of varied ringing and activities. Thanks to all the towers for letting us borrow their bells, and finally, a special thanks to Christopher who drove us around, but spent more time finding somewhere to park the bus than he did ringing.