Sunday 18 April 2010
Pettistree Ringing Outing to NE Suffolk
Mike and I had been planning this outing for quite some time, so it was great that the weather cooperated - it was a beautiful sunny, warm day - if only it could stay like this all year! And no airplane noise or con trails - due to volcanic ash, nothing but light aircraft around (we are under the Stanstead flight path here in Suffolk). Our outing was to three churches in northeast Suffolk.
We arrived in Stradbroke a few minutes early, but others had arrived in their shared cars before us - we numbered over twenty. Stradbroke is a large church and has a ring of ten bells. Trevor Bailey and his wife Julie let us in and also had a ring with us . Lots of rounds and call changes as we are a six bell tower - but we did ring two lots of Grandsire Caters. Bell here very old fashioned and the ringing chamber a time capsule. The war memorial outside the church heaped with flowers - a full military funeral held in the village on Thursday for a local boy killed in Afghanistan - so sad.
On to Fressingfield with eight bells- we attempted Fressingfield Surprise Major but not very well. More ringing to suit all, especially our learner from Ipswich and New York State, Shaun, on his first ringing outing. It was a short walk from the church to the Fressingfield Swan where we had our lunch. It is a feature in England that most churches have a pub next to the church.
After lunch, most left their cars behind and walked the short two miles to the next church, Wingfield (six bells). A pleasant walk along country roads and then alongside a stream. Wingfield is a rather grand little church as it is linked to the de la Pole family, later the Dukes of Suffolk; some rather impressive stone monuments here. Two year old Mason enjoyed the model of the local castle in the play corner. After the ringing, some discovered the tea shop and art gallery at Wingfield College (rather a surprise in the middle of nowhere) while others enjoyed another beer on the terrace of the De la Pole Arms. Everyone seemed to enjoy the combination of walking and ringing, so we will have to put on our thinking caps about another outing.
I am including photos of wingfield church and also one of the ringing chamber at Wingfield.