The 2005 Dinner
The 2005 dinner started in the usual way, with drinks in the Imperial on the Friday night. As always it allowed the current students to mix with some of the past members, swapping anecdotes and moaning about all the students making the pub so busy. After the requisite standard of inebriation was reached the group split up and headed home.
This year's outing took place principally to the North of Exeter and the turnout was high, including one particularly special member, the new gnome, fulfilling his first official engagement as our mascot. The first tower was the eight at St. Martin le Tours, Exminster. The early start, combined with the slightly tricky bells meant the ringing was the worst of the day but we still succeeded in ringing some satisfactory call changes. After this it was off to the highlight of the day, the recently installed ten at Crediton. The ringing here was of a good standard, with some impressive Cambridge Royal and Grandsire Caters as well as well-struck call changes for the less experienced ringers.
The venue for lunch was the Fisherman's Cot at Bickleigh, which provided excellent food along with a picturesque view of the river flowing outside. The pub was thoroughly enjoyed despite a slight shortage of beer. After lunch we took a brisk stroll up the hill to our third tower, St. Mary the Virgin, Bickleigh, although some of the (allegedly) more mature members of the society chose to spend more time in the pub and only arrive for the last fifteen minutes of ringing!
The final tower of the day was St. Mary, Silverton, a tower which was the venue for many of the early ECG quarters. The bells proved to be exceptionally tuneful and some very high standard of striking was achieved. The ringing chamber, including a view of the back of the organ and a gallery overlooking the church also provided some interest, although I was too busy writing my speech to spend much time looking around.
The outing ended slightly earlier than usual, allowing more time for people to get ready. Owing to the unavailability of last year's venue, this year the dinner was held at the Exeter Golf and Country Club. The food proved to be excellent and this was followed by speeches and handbell ringing, Pip Rossiter gave an account of the societies activities of the previous year before a band of current students rang a course of Plain Bob Minor. After the Master's speech the band that rang the ECG's first handbell peal of royal treated us to some Little Bob Royal. Having got all of the preliminaries out of the way, the serious business of dancing started, with due attention paid to health and safety requirements. The band were, as ever, highly entertaining and everybody thoroughly enjoyed the evening.
Sunday followed the usual format, with tea and coffee at the Boston Tea Party followed by lunch at the Malthouse and service ringing at the Cathedral. After ringing the current students headed to the new Wetherspoon's while the older members, unable to stand the pace of another drinking session, went for tea and coffee instead.
Photos (and movies) from a selection of cameras... click photos to enlarge.
Photos on this page from Friday night and the ringing tour on Saturday. The dinner and Sunday photos on page 2.