The 48th Annual Dinner - February 6th - 8th 2015
Report & photos by Alice Holden. Click the photos for a large version.
The weekend began with a reunion on Friday evening at the Impy. The room having been booked for 6 o clock, the most eager ringers started to arrive. However, the date also coinciding with England playing rugby (or something), meant the rest of the pub was extremely busy and unfortunately the room had to be opened up to the general public. Nevertheless, gradually our fellow ringers began to wander in and by the end of the night, we were the only ones in there anyway. Much catching-up was done along with dubious amounts of alcohol consumption, some even daring to partake in Jaegerbombs, which they may have regretted the following morning.
Saturday started off early, with an assortment of cars (and a bike) making their way to Torquay for the outing. First up was St Marychurch, a very nice ring of 10. It was also Kanga's first trip up a tower and she remained very well behaved, although not still enough to take a photo. Many different things were rung, although it now being 5 months after the day, I can't remember what.
Next up was Babbacombe, an 8 bell tower. After another packed three quarters of an hour of ringing, everyone headed off to Upton, where we parked and then headed off to get some lunch. Unfortunately, due to another clash of dates, Torquay United were playing that day and the best pubs were quite busy. After a hearty meal, everyone reconvened at Upton church (and Alice Leetham went in search of a gnome for the slightly reluctant bearer, Evan). More ringing was done, but the general consensus was they weren't the nicest bells in the world, having a tendency to drop on you. The handbell ringers amongst us also made use of the time to practise their touches for later on in the evening.
And with that, the outing was over and everyone headed back to Exeter to get ready for the dinner, which this year took place in the Devonshire Suite of the Thistle Hotel.
The meal was thoroughly enjoyed by all, and was followed by the undergraduate and "oldies" handbell touches, a somewhat brief Master's speech from Nathan and a very interesting talk from our guest speaker, the late David Trist, in honour of the Devon Association's 90th anniversary. Finally, Steph rounded up the formalities with the daffodil toast.
The evening concluded with the ceilidh, the music played by ECG favourites Buttoned Up. The traditional interval was provided in the shape of Tim's infamous Thomas the Tank Engine dance, complete with a Thomas the Tank Engine cake to celebrate its 10th anniversary.
Everyone was up bright and early once more on Sunday for service ringing. That at St David's was particularly well-attended. Those not going to the service then returned to the Impy for breakfast, then the most dedicated moved on to Boston Tea Party. Following this, most people were quite tired so everyone went their own ways for a couple of hours, before reconvening at the cathedral for some more ringing. A fitting end to a thoroughly enjoyable (and exhausting) weekend!