The 40th Annual Dinner - February 2nd - 4th 2007

[Click photos to enlarge. If you have some photos please send them to the webmaster. Photos taken by Amy Jones, Cat Murderer & Matt.]

Richard Johnson writes...

Friday...

The 40th anniversary dinner of the ECG started off as it should always do ... in the pub!!! On the Friday evening ringers of the Guild, old and new, gathered together in the Imperial in order to swap stories, get new rugby shirts for the weekend and generally gossip! Much food and beer was consumed by all and the 'social event of the year!' (as Alex put it!) was so good half the pub popped their head through the door to see if they could join us!

Saturday...

We were up bright and early Saturday morning and, marshalled by Mr Bennett, all set off in our cars to the first tower of the day: Littleham. The 8 bells here were very nice and, again with James B guarding the entrance, all came in and had a go with ringing starting at call-changes for the less experienced and spiralling upwards. Shuttling in and out the trap door proved to be fun but special note goes to Joseph who, unawares, managed to be locked in the Church by the host! From here we progressed to the recently augmented Withycombe Raleigh (12). Matt took charge of the ringing and the bells were well complimented by all. However, at this point we found that disaster had struck... Gnobby had lost his nose (and not a Bristol ringer in sight)!!! We then broke for lunch and scarpered in our groups to various pubs in the Exmouth area in order to gird ourselves for the afternoon's ringing. Next up we reconvened at Lympstone where the amp certainly aided our hearing of the ground floor ring (and the Master remembered that he might need to write his speech before the dinner!). The final ring was held at Woodbury where the mighty tenor could not overcome the efforts of Jimi and company! A good ring was had here by all and, following that, we all toddled off to prepare for the evening.

The Dinner...

The evening's festivities started in t'bar where all gathered together in preparations for the election. We moved through to the (Lama-themed) tables and promptly Matt was elected as ECG Gen Sec. and David Lay as Guild President - many congratulations. Following this we ate, and much story swapping occurred on the tables, in no small part aided by the efforts of former members to bring their photos of the society's early years. The speeches were started by Linda Cull and Marlene Flint who gave us a fascinating insight into the forming of the society. Then the new handbell team ably demonstrated their prowess, ringing some superb plain hunt on 6. This was followed by the Ringing Master's speech which he just about mastered on the spot! Then, to show us how it's done, a touch of Grandsire Caters was rung some more experienced handbell ringers. Introduced by James, the final speech was that of Professor Nicholas Rodger, the guest speaker, amusing all with his 'improving stories'. Finally the evening progressed to the dancing where 'Five Bar Gait' arrived in order to guide us through the evening where much fun was had and many baskets dropped!

Sunday...

Sunday morning entailed ringing for the services around the city, St. David's enjoying its share of guest ringers! Then a variety of establishments were visited for breakfast, the Imperial and the Boston Tea Party amongst others. As the afternoon progressed we convened at 'Georges Meeting House' for a somewhat cosy balcony lunch before progressing for ringing at the Cathedral, where Dr Campbell amazed all with his circling of Kathryn while strapping the tenor! After much ringing and enjoyment farewells were said and people moved on. A hard core returned to George's, later some left the remaining harder core to see out the evening!!! Many thanks go to all those who helped organise such a fantastic 40th Dinner weekend. Role on 41!