Southern District Outing, 22/10/2016

The members of the Southern District recently had an excellent ringing outing around the northern part of Dorset, organised by Mary Melbourne. It was a typical autumn misty morning when we arrived to ring at our first church, the 6-bell tower of St James’s just outside Shaftesbury. We then went to St Peter’s on Shaftesbury‘s High Street but there was time in the programme for a welcome cup of coffee. Most of us managed to get a coffee at the Salt Cellar café which is situated at the top of Gold Hill and which has a wonderful selection of cakes. Unfortunately we were unable to raise the second bell at St Peter’s, however we gamely carried on and managed to do a few bits and pieces on the remaining 5 bells, though it didn’t sound too pretty.

We had lunch at Compton Abbas Airfield, a stellar choice as the views were wonderful (the autumn mist was clearing by this time), and such a lot of activity with helicopters and light aircraft buzzing around, and a good meal.

In the afternoon we were kept busy with three towers to visit - Compton Abbas, Durweston and Bryanston School chapel with a nice ring of 8 bells. Some of us found Compton Abbas church hard to find as Sat Navs took us to the village rather than the church. Driving to the various churches through the Dorset countryside, however, was delightful as it was a still, sunny afternoon and the autumn colours were at their best.

We all had an excellent day’s ringing on a mixture of bells, some more difficult than others, before driving home with a glorious red sunset glowing on the horizon and good memories of a most enjoyable day. Thank you to Mary for organising it all.

Jenny Watson, Sparsholt Tower