Yesterday was the annual ringing outing of the St Mary le Tower bellringers. The day was arranged by George Pipe, a well known ringer from Ipswich. We went to Cambridgeshire, a round trip of about 150 miles. Seven churches were visited, most with spires (unlike most Suffolk churches which have sturdy towers). Before lunch we went to Ely. The cathedral at Ely has no bells, so we rang at the parish church, St Marys. The black and white house is associated with Oliver Cromwell.
We also rang at Bluntisham. Some of you may be familiar with the books of Dorothy Sayers, who wrote The Nine Tailors and Gaudy Night among others. The bellringing in The Nine Tailors is at fictional churches in the Fens, but as her father was rector at this church, Bluntisham, she knew bellringing from her childhood days. There are eight bells here.
We had lunch at Stretham in the Red Lion. When we came out, my car had a very flat tyre, with a big nail to be seen sticking out of it! Luckily we were able to put on the spare (temporary) tyre and drive to the next tower. I will have the get the flat tyre repaired on Monday morning.
As I was going to St Ives I met a man with seven wives, Each wife had seven sacks, Each sack had seven cats, Each cat had seven kits, Kits, cats, sacks, wives, how many were going to St Ives?
There is more than one St Ives, the other is in Cornwall, but as the one in Cambridgeshire is an ancient market town, it has a good claim to be the one in the rhyme...
Here we are ringing at St Ives - eight bells.
And here is Hemmingford Grey church - again on the banks of the Great Ouse. A sign in the churchyard says that it is prohibited to fish from the churchyard - the river runs along one side of the church...Lucy Boston's house is located nearby - it is supposed to be the oldest inhabited house in England, the Children of Green Knowe books were written here and Lucy also made a series of quilts which are featured in a book.