The 39th Annual Dinner - February 3rd - 5th 2006

James W writes...

The weekend started off with the return of the newly restored handbells. It has been agreed by all, that Geoff Hill has done a fantastic job on them. The Friday drinking session started out with people tired from performing for World Cultures' Day, but once the food was served and the drink flowing, everyone was up for more riotous behaviour and many joined in with the drinking songs.

Saturday morning saw those bleary eyed souls, who had taken advantage of the extended opening hours, enjoying the two mini-rings at Exmouth, The Garage (6) and The Bedroom (10). For those who had never rung on a mini-ring before it was an experience, and for those who had rung peals on them... Thanks go to Mary Mack for letting us ring. Next stop, The Topsham Cheese Shop, followed swiftly by ringing at St. Margaret's.

A trip to Topsham could never be complete without a trip to The Bridge, so that's where we went for lunch and for some to sample the great range of good ale and others to take delight in the extensive, non-alcoholic selection. Next of to St Mark's and the newly augmented ten.

The dinner was held at Reed Hall. The food was good but sadly the beer was consumed by ten o'clock proving it too was good. Phil Rogers as guest speaker gave a delightful performance and amused us all with his tales. We are of course continuing the great traditions of society, even though one of its greatest members is now no longer with us. John Longridge, to those who were fortunate enough to know him well, was an accomplished ringer and good friend. For those of us who could not be said to know him well, he is our standard and inspiration. He founded the society based on friendship and ringing. May we keep it so, even though he is no longer here in body to remind us. Richard Newman was asked to talk about the life of his friend. David returned once more, as Ringing Master of the Society, to give his speech this year featuring his famous Brummie accent. In it he thanked everyone for the talents they bring to the society. Fortunately/unfortunately (delete as appropriate) enough Daffodils had opened for each of the graduates of the society. 

On to the dancing/running around in a confused state. Five Bar Gait once again provided the marvellous music and calling and primarily thanks to members of the university folk society the dancing was spurred on to the greater heights of the Cornish Six Hand Reel (for those still confused by it: "It's only Plain Hunt!").

Sunday Morning for those who saw it, meant ringing for the Sunday services at St. David's, St. Marks's and Heavitree, swiftly followed by breakfast at the Imperial or refreshments at The Boston Tea Party.  The ringing at the Cathedral was good and enjoyable to both newcomers and old hands. This concluded the weekend's events and we can only hope that the landmark 40th next year proves as successful and more again as those of recent years.

Photos taken by David, Dominic, Matt & Cat Murderer...

Friday...

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Saturday...

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Dinner...

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Sunday...

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