July Country Meeting in Lincolnshire
For this year's July Country Meeting, the Cumberlands visited the home of the rival Lincolnshire sausage, with members travelling from as far afield as the USA, Australia, Devon and Scotland. There is no truth in the rumour that Matt Edwards had to flee south of the border for the weekend to escape the invading hordes of College Youths.
As has become the custom, peals were attempted on the Thursday and Friday, ably organised by that maestro of peal organisation, Derek Sibson. Most were scored. The most original excuse for a loss was at Pinchbeck, where 7 met 1 short at the bottom of the tower, and 1 met 7 short in the ringing room! Unfortunately by the time we all met up it was too late to start. On Friday evening "The Dolphin" in Stamford did us proud with a fantastic carvery and the odd pint or several was consumed. The Northern contingent showed a worthy commitment to banishing the reputation of the Cumberlands as "Orange Juice Drinkers"! Less in evidence was Ben Kipling's commitment to finding a bed for the night!
On Saturday morning all the peal ringers managed to meet up successfully. Ben even got to Boston. The only loss was unfortunately at Peterborough Cathedral when a clapper fell out after nearly 8 courses of very good ringing. Whilst peals were being rung or lost, another 30 or more members enjoyed a tower grab at an assorted collection of pleasant 6's around Market Deeping. The highlight of the afternoon was undoubtedly the "Heavy Metal" striking competition held on the 17cwt 6 at Deeping St James. After a closely fought competition where the test piece of the "Cambridge 6" was rung really well by all 8 bands, Glint's "Minor Celebrities" were declared the winners by the judge, Ron Warford. However, the "Spliced Girls", cheered on by their fan club, Harold Rogers, were definitely the most photogenic even if there were no Union Jack dresses in sight.
The July business meeting was held at in Deeping St James Village Hall. The number of members present nearly exceeded the current record, currently held by the meeting at Wisbech in 1999. The Master, John Loveless, extended a special welcome to members who had travelled from overseas, and to Ron Noon who had travelled from Spalding, a member for 63 years. A presentation was made to Ron by Lesley Boyle, one of many noted ringers encouraged by Ron in their early ringing career. During the meeting we remembered and then stood in memory of Caroline Harris of Norwich. The following new members were elected: Anne Deebank of North Yorkshire, Edward Mack of Hertfordshire, Kevin McManus of Tyne and Wear, Judith Moreton of Tyne and Wear and Sarah Young of Nottinghamshire. Congratulations were offered to Amanda Richmond, who summited Mt Everest on 20th May, to Frank Matthews on the recent occasion of his 80th birthday, to Wendy Winter and Colin Belsey, getting married today, and to Sam George and Phil Gorman, married in June. The arrivals of future members James Ashley Robertson and James Thomas Hetherington were also announced. Full minutes of the meeting, with details of all the business discussed, will be available via the website in due course, or members can request a copy from the Secretary.
The venue for the evening's festivities was Edenham Village Hall. Rumour has it that the Master spent a week sleeping on the floor here during a Lads Peal Tour many years ago. The Hall has since been refurbished. There may or may not be a connection between these 2 events! Nearly 90 members and friends enjoyed the most fantastic curry, lots of lovely puds, a few more pints and a really enjoyable quiz night. Some returned home, some back to Stamford for more ringing the following day and Ben again found a bed for the night.
A huge thank you goes to Jim Benner, Ben Ricketts and Emma Southerington for all their hard work and organisation, plus to everyone else who helped to make this a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable Country Weekend.
Linda M Garton
View photos from this event in our gallery.