The 52nd Annual Dinner - February 1st - 3rd 2019

Report by Richard Johnson. Photos by Matthew Hilling.

As ever, the ECG dinner weekend began … in the pub! Members and friends, old and new, all gathered together to swap stories and enjoy a burger and beer or two to start off the weekend.

The Saturday's outing began at Clyst Honiton and a prompt start meant that there was much ringing for all. A range of 8-bell ringing was enjoyed - working our way from call changes through to Stedman Triples and Double Norwich. We then moved on to Tallaton. This was a 6 bell tower and, with crowds of keen ringers building up, it proved a challenge to get everyone through in time! I’m sure that many people will go away remembering the 'squeaky screen' dividing the ringers from the rest of the church. We moved on to Whimple for a very enjoyable lunch. It was here that the gnome managed to join us - having previously been detained by a fallen tree. Afternoon ringing was held at Ottery St Mary and we enjoyed another good set of 8-bell ringing.

The evening's festivities began with the ECG elections. Matt Hilling and David Atkins were thanked for all they'd done in their posts as Gen Secretary and President and new officers were duly elected - Steph Hills takes the role of Gen Sec and Tom Hinks becomes the society's new President - congratulations both. A fine meal was enjoyed. After this, we enjoyed handbells (including a blast of perennial favourite 'Bungle's Little Surprise') and then there were the speeches. Linda Garton was our guest speaker and told us about her work in promoting the Ringing World National Youth Competition and gave us stories of her university ringing years. David Lay recalled told us of his time as a student in Exeter (including the cost of a pint!) and the ringing and socialising he enjoyed in his time - including both canal and cycling ringing tours. This led on to the Ceildh where we were once again guided expertly through the evening by the band. Our thoughts go out to Kate who was unable to join us this year.

On Sunday, we engaged in service ringing around the city and then many of us gathered together in Boston Tea Party for breakfast. We then all gathered together for the traditional finish – ringing at the cathedral. Under Matt's expert guidance, we all took part in ringing the newly restored 12 and this brought the weekend to a close. And so we look forward to doing it all again next year…