Saturday 25th February 2006 saw a bunch of Trumpington and Cherry Hinton Bellringers jump into their cars and head in the direction of Stansted Airport…unfortunatley not heading off for a weekend city break, but to Stansted Mountfichet for a ringing tour to celebrate Sharon's 'special' birthday.
St Mary's church at Stansted Mountfichet were a 13 cwt Anti-clockwise 8 and proved to be an interesting tower to begin the tour. Firstly, tackling a step wooden ladder to access the tower and a heavy 8 going in the wrong direction! Nevertheless an enjoyable hour was spent at the tower.
The second tower, Holy Trinity, Hatfield Heath, a total contrast to Stansted, with a tiny 4 cwt 6 in a small ringing chamber at the side of the church.
Followed by a much needed mid-afternoon tea break in a perfectly located tea shop opposite the church at Hatfield. We persuaded the tea shop to remain open long enough to revive the thirsty ringers.
Heading into Sawbridgeworth to find the final tower of the day proved to be quite a challenge, with every street ending in a dead-end. Finally, we reached Great St Mary's Church and the 24 cwt 8. After a few group photos, an enjoyable tower to end the afternoon, with a few unusual features, the second was rung from a cubby hole in the wall and most of the bells were rung from boxes.
Darkness had fallen by the time we left Sawbridgeworth, so we travelled back up the M11 towards Cambridge, via the Red Lion at Hinxton for a proper birthday celebration for Sharon and an appropriate close to a successful afternoon ringing tour.
Words by Amanda Cator
Click here to see photos from the tour.