The Ancient
Society of
Est. 1637

Home            Towers           Peals            Galleries           Articles



24th - 2
7th August, 2007
(Report by Chris Kippin. Click on pic to enlarge)


67 College Youths
20 peal towers
The Palace (a pub next to Leeds Parish Church)
The Royal Armouries (a superb dinner venue, also in Leeds)
A barrel of Ossett bitter
A sprinkling of friends and relations


1 On Friday evening place 34 members in 4 towers to ring peals.
2 When completed move most of those members to Palace, add friends and relations to taste, slake thirst, toast successes and commiserate with failures
3 On Saturday repeat steps 1 and 2, varying quantities (60 members, 6 towers). Step 2 should be extended to use the longer time available.
4 On Sunday, after service ringing at Leeds Parish Church, repeat step 2 (but not step 3), quantities this time 48 members and 5 towers.
5 Assemble most of the members, friends and relations (80 in all) in the Armouries for an informal dinner, and consume the barrel of bitter.
6 On Monday repeat step 2 again, this time with 50 members and 5 towers.
7 Go home.

Stated thus, this seems a pretty simple exercise. That it went so comparatively smoothly is yet another example of the duck principle – lots of furious paddling underneath. By the previous weekend all 20 towers had been confirmed, all 67 ringers placed in peal attempts as appropriate, the dinner numbers confirmed and the all-important barrel organised. Then an email to say that permission had been withdrawn at Huddersfield because scaffolding was going up around the tower. Courtesy of Malcolm Turner Rotherham was eventually substituted, which meant finding two more ringers for Monday. Enter an additional hand of fate. On Friday morning two separate text messages within 15 minutes of each other announcing withdrawals through illness. More frantic texting and phoning which went on throughout the weekend as reinforcements were assembled and bands reorganised. Final blow on Sunday morning when it was found that the Vicar of Hessle had inadvertently arranged a baptism in the middle of the peal booked earlier. Once again rapid reorganisation resulted in the peal being rung at Market Weighton instead – thanks to Robert Jordan for that.

Despite the various setbacks it was a successful and enjoyable weekend. True the peal success rate was not as high as had been expected. A rash of miscalls put paid to four out of the six attempts lost, at Headingley, Bradford, Armley and Hull, the remaining two, at Ilkley and Rotherham failing for different reasons. However, the dinner was an unqualified success, with food judged excellent on both quality and quantity, good service, a superb venue and the beer just lasting the evening. And the main purpose of the weekend – to meet and ring with members from Yorkshire – was amply satisfied, with old friendships renewed and new ones made.

No event of this type organises itself, and thanks are due (and were duly expressed at the dinner) to Jeff Ladd who arranged most of the towers, to Rob Childs who organised the dinner – being an employee at the Armouries certainly helped there – and to Katie Town who took on the thankless task of selling dinner tickets and prising money out of members as well. Finally, the remainder of the ingredient list would have been useless without the first one, so thanks to all the members who came and made the weekend such a success, particularly those who made up numbers at short notice.

‘Younger members’

Back row L to R: David Wallis, Katie Lane, David Maynard
Front row L to R: Mark Eccleston, Helen Valuks, Peter Valuks, Louise Palmer, Edward Hughes-D’Aeth

L to R: Rob Childs, Jeff Ladd, Chris Kippin, Katie Town

Back to Index