Ladies' Guild Annual Holiday 2016

The ethos of Ladies Guild to bring lady ringers together nationally and to encourage new ringers has always been well met within the Ladies Guild holiday. It is a meeting of friends, new and old who share some social time together fostering great friendships. 2016 found 39 intrepid members meeting up again for our much anticipated Annual event – this year to Norfolk.

We met at the spacious Country Club at Taverham just outside Norwich, our trip carefully planned with the help of several local area members - namely Elisabeth Spry, Theo Crowder and Betty Baines, and we were very fortunate to enjoy some wonderful towers during the week. We started on Monday with the 8’s at Happisburgh, Northrepps, Cromer and then Theo’s home tower at Holt. Cromer were augmented to an 8 in 2014 and very enjoyable, some excellent towers to start our holiday. Tuesday found us at the detached tower at East Dereham and climbing a delightful old wooden staircase - at 22 cwt they were a lovely deep sound - then on to the 9 cwt 10 at Gressenhall which were rather good too. Reepham after lunch, and then onto the six at Weston Longville to finish the day.

On Wednesday we set off bright and early for the 8 at Felmingham followed by the 17 cwt 10 at Aylsham. Then we settled with our ice creams/sandwiches on the little Bure Valley train down to the boat at Wroxham and spent the next two hours ‘cruising’ on the Norfolk Broads with a varied commentary on much of the wildlife we observed, nice change. Back on the coach again we had just time for a quick ring at the Buxton ground floor 6 before heading back to the hotel for much needed sustenance! Thursday we set off for Raynham Park and the fairly new 8 there, rung on a mezzanine level through a trap door which proved quite a challenge to get everyone up and down within the time. Then onward to 10 cwt 6 Castle Acre and a leisurely lunch time to look around this most beautiful castle and priory area. The 8’s at Swaffham and Ashill finished our agenda for the day.

Friday brought us to New Buckenham and Kenninghall and to meet up with our good friend Betty Baines and then on to Diss, her home tower. Here there is a very interesting arrangement of ropes ringing through some beams, a new experience, and lastly Redenhall - both these afternoon towers were 22 cwt and by now we were perhaps tiring a little, some of us very much looking forward to a drink and supper!

And so on to Saturday and two light rings of 8 at Saxlingham Nethergate and Loddon, both ground floor, excellent rings, and then a free afternoon to wander in Norwich which completed our tour. All too soon it was Sunday and we were saying goodbye for another year. The great thing about the Ladies Guild Tour is meeting up with friends sharing their company and a common interest, memories of past misdemeanours and fun – and the week seems to fly by. Good planning, an excellent accommodating hotel with friendly staff and two lovely coach drivers completed our very successful week. It is a team effort to organise and as always, thanks to my co-organisers, Mary Sterry, Polly Osborne and Margaret Laver. Here’s to next year.

Pearl Jeanes