A cool but dry day greeted this year’s outing to the green and leafy countryside of the North Cotswolds.

St Peter and St Paul at Long Compton was our first venue – approached by an unusual thatched lych-gate.

One pull of the ropes, and the less experienced of us were immediately nervous of the seemingly elastic ropes!  We did eventually manage to ring some acceptable rounds.  The experts however were soon performing Grandsire, Bob Minor and Cambridge, to great aplomb, but even they described the bells as “interesting”! 

Long Compton lych-gate
St Peter and St Paul Long Compton
St Peter and St Paul at Long Compton altar frontal

We were all impressed with the beautiful needlework around the Church, including a montage of tapestries depicting houses and buildings within the village and a stunning silk appliqu├ęd patchwork on the altar frontal.

A short drive took us to St Lawrence Church at Mickleton, and another fine display of needlework, this time in the form of an exhibition of kneelers, with notes explaining the symbolism of the designs.  The fifteen ringers were soon ringing out Grand Sire Triples to the surrounding countryside.

Picnic lunches were eaten at Hidcote Manor, and we all enjoyed walking around the beautiful gardens, admiring the luxuriant growth and wonderful displays of massed alliums, hostas and flag irises.

A twisty journey took us to St. Thomas a Becket's Church at Todenham.  We appeared to be four ringers down…… previous experience made us wonder whether they had got lost en route….. but no, they had left to ring at weddings nearer to home!  Todenham was another beautiful village of honey coloured Cotswold stone buildings.  More complex methods were performed here!

St Lawrence Church Mickleton
St. Thomas a Becket's Church at Todenham

After quite a long drive, we arrived at St Laurence Church in Combe – and discovered that the organisers had kept the best until last!  The bells were a dream to ring, with a beautiful clear tone.  There were many beautiful aspects to the interior of the church, including interesting wall paintings and 14th century decorative floor tiles.

St Laurence Church Combe

An oak tree on the village green – a cricket match taking place on the playing field – a Norman Church – fabulous sounding bells – a perfect English scene.  The day finished with a relaxing meal at the Tollgate in Yarnton.

Thank you to John and Hilary for organising another splendid outing, greatly enjoyed by everyone who attended.

Jane Willis

John T , Jane Willis, John White, Caroline Lewis, James Anderson, Besant, Maureen Bosely, Kay Tuckwell, Brian Gray, Clive Bosely, Hilarie Rogers, Chris Rogers