The ECG Staycation - 6 to 8 August 2010

Report & photos by Richard Johnson

Bright and early on the 6th August 2010 the ringers of the ECG and hangers-on gathered at St. David's to begin the inaugural ECG Staycation! Once we had arranged ourselves into travelling parties, we set off for t'other side of the Tamar Sea (otherwise known as Cornwall). The first stop of the weekend was at Altarnun. These were a fine 8 and we rang both method and call-changes here; we also had the first placed call change team of the weekend. We progressed from Alturnun to Lanivet (8) where, when not ringing, we could be found inspecting buttresses and trying on the children's play hats, left in a basket at the back of the church! From ringing at Lanivet we piled into Bodmin for some nourishment before ringing in the town at St. Petroc's (8). Coming back from lunch we ended up being in two groups, those that found the helpful local and went up the stairs into the tower and those that preferred/were sent crawling up the external ladder. Alex ran the ringing here and we all had a good ring before setting off for St. Stephen's by Launceston. St. Stephen's has a ring of 8 bells but it did prove quite a challenge to hear them against the backdrop of the Hoover and the organ! The final ring of the day was at Lifton (8) and this was followed by some superb beer and food in the always excellent Uncle Tom Cobley in Spreyton.

The Saturday started off with us setting off for Pillaton (8). These newly overhauled bells were excellent and many commented that these were certainly the pick of the weekend. Next up were St. Germans (8). This church was notable for its two towers, huge building and a cuddly toy craftily hidden in one of the more grandiose memorials in the church! Lunch in Plymouth was followed by a tour of the Plymouth Gin distillery. At the distillery we were given a talk on the history and production of Plymouth Gin and the chance to sample both the standard gin and the sloe gin. Following the tour we rang at Stoke Damerel, a very nice 4cwt ring of eight! Ringing at St. Budeaux (6) was followed by the ringer's staple food: curry!

On Sunday we all made our way to Sunday service ringing at St. David's (8!) and then made our way to the station. We set off on the train for Torre and duly arrived at St. David's, Tor Mohun, (6) which is (complete with Clarkson-esque voice) the only Greek Orthodox ring... in the world! Considering the bells have little maintenance, they handled very well and they set us up nicely for the last ring of the weekend: Newton Abbot Clock Tower (8). Once the challenge of the door had been overcome and we'd broken the spider (they won't let us back!) we rounded off the weekend with an excellent ring.

I think it's safe to say that we all had a superb weekend of ringing and many thanks go to Jimi for organising an excellent ringing weekend!