On Saturday 18th March, the Ripon Cathedral Guild of Bellringers gathered at The Crown Inn, Roecliffe for our annual dinner. This was the third year that we had been to the award-winning pub. Twenty of us enjoyed a convivial evening in the private dining room overlooking the garden area.
Once again, we had a good choice of starters, mains and desserts with clear favourites being Wensleydale soufflé to start, followed by daube of beef (with, of course, Yorkshire puddings!) for the main course. There was, however, no clear winner when it came to desserts, with berry pavlova, lemon tart and sticky toffee pudding all getting plaudits.
We were pleased that the Mayor and Mayoress of Ripon were able to join us – especially when the Mayor told us that in the 1980s, early in their marriage, they had been taught to ring at the Cathedral by Ted Hudson! Speeches were kept to a minimum and were pleasingly informal. The Ringing Master, Martin Davies, was keen to inject fun into the proceedings and so we entered into the spirit by playing “Tom Swiftly” – a word game in which there is a punning relationship between an adverb and the statement to which it refers. We decided that ringing was an ideal hobby for this – with appealingly, surprisingly and quarterly all being used. The worst groan came after this little gem….. “I keep going wrong on the 5th” said the ringer, forthrightly! The Dean (also a ringer – although he doesn’t get much time to visit the ringing room at the moment) showed his prowess at wordplay when he thanked the ringers for all that they do, employing a Tom Swiftly into practically every sentence. We are indeed fortunate to enjoy harmonious relationships with the Dean and Chapter.
After coffee, the Cathedral handbells were rung (well, in truth, most of us just sat and watched in awe!) and the assembled company spent the rest of the evening putting the world to rights – some might even have enjoyed a pint or two.
Write up kindly provided by Anne Wood