The Ancient
Society of
Est. 1637

Home            Towers           Peals            Galleries           Articles


Saturday 19th July, 2008
(Photos by the Webmaster and Roy LeMarechal.
Videos by the Webmaster and Brian Diserens)
(Click on pic to enlarge)

Report by Graham Bradshaw (brought to you in association with Martha Lane Fox):

I remember my first trip to Liverpool. My Dad took me to Anfield to watch Derby play Liverpool in the League Cup semi final. With the score at 0-0, David Fairclough came on as a substitute with ten minutes to go and scored the two goals that meant it was Liverpool that went to Wembley (ultimately to win) and not Derby. I cried all the way home.

The Society’s Master, Mark Humphreys, had brought the Society to Liverpool for the 2008 Country Meeting – a short journey across (or under) the Mersey from the Wirral, where he did a lot of his early ringing. This was the most important of three major events taking place locally that weekend – alongside the Tall Ships race and the Open Golf championsip, a short journey up the coast at Royal Birkdale.

In his welcoming remarks at the Business Meeting, Peter Furniss commented that Liverpool has changed a lot over the last 20 or so years – some for the better, some not so. The huge city centre regeneration project encompassing the Albert Docks and the Liverpool One shopping centre, together with the emergence of the superlambananas, are obvious contenders for the former category. However, the constant ability of any one of Merseyside’s 3 football clubs to humiliate any Derby side that visits the city has not changed one bit.

The official proceedings began on the Wednesday evening, with a peal of Stedman Cinques on the fine 12 at Pier Head, where the band was grateful to Cathy for helping John call one of the many stunning turning courses. Afterwards we adjourned to our headquarters for the weekend – the Ship and Mitre – which not only serves a fine array of real ales but was also the location for a Society handbell peal the previous month. A plaque commemorating this performance was unveiled by the Master on Saturday lunchtime.

Then followed two days of peal ringing – the Junior Steward having laid on the large number of peals that members are accustomed to on these occasions. 16 out of 17 ‘’official’’ peal attempts were successful, plus a further 8 ‘’unofficial’’ ones at the start of the week– a testimony both to the level of organisation and standard of ringing. We were treated to the fine Taylor 8 at Eccleston and also visited the ten at St Helens that were transferred from St Peter’s, Liverpool on its closure in 1919. On the site of the former St Peter’s church, in the middle of Liverpool’s shopping streets, now sits the splendid Athenaeum, where the Society’s business meeting and dinner were to be held the following day.

Saturday ringing at Pier Head and the Cathedral ranged from rounds and call changes =to Bristol Maximus, in between which we returned to the Ship and Mitre where a traditional local lunch had been laid on. In the afternoon we were treated to a ‘’behind the scenes’’ tour of the Cathedral, which included visits to see the bells and also the Liverpool skyline from the roof of the Cathedral.

The business meeting and dinner were held in the Athenaeum. 102 members and friends from all round the country (including a large Merseyside contingent) sat down to a fine meal, accompanied by 5 barrels of beer (all with different, ringing pseudonyms) supplied by the Ship and Mitre, very little of which was left at the end of the evening.

The weekend concluded with Sunday service ringing at both Pier Head and the Cathedral and, following lunch in the Pilgrim, members made their way home to all corners of the UK.

We are very grateful to the Liverpool ringers, and especially Len Mitchell and Peter Furniss, both for their significant contributions to the arrangements and also for making us so welcome. Leaving Liverpool this time there were no tears, just memories of an excellent weekend. Maybe things do change for the better after all. .

Ringing at the cathedral. Expectant ringers.
The bells - the largest ringing peal in the world - are dwarfed by the enormous volume of the tower.
Link to Video of the ringing at Liverpool Cathedral (2,968kB)
Link to Video of the bells ringing (2,173kB)
Link to Video of the bells ringing from higher up (263kB, B Diserens)
Views from the top of the tower over Liverpool.
  Pre dinner drinks in The Craic.
The business meeting was held
at the Athenaeum.
Susan Rothera asking for a light.
The dinner was also held at the Athenaeum.
  The Master seated on top table in
front of a portrait of HM The Queen
Two guys who did a lot of work for the weekend: Peter Furniss and Len Mitchell.  Between them they organised much of the weekend in Liverpool and were suitably thanked by the Master on behalf of everyone present.
The Senior Steward, Peter Valuks,
with his wife Helen.
Cathy Hughes-D'Aeth talking to Doug Bell
and Philip Goodyer.
The Master, Mark Humphreys, with his parents
Peter and Brenda.
Chris Rogers in conversation with
John Hyden.
David Baverstock, Simon Linford
and John Hughes-D'Aeth.
Relaxing on the sofa or unable to stand up?
James Marchbank and Simon Linford. Andrew Wilby comes to talk to Paul Mounsey
and his sister, Diana Anderson.
Peter Humphreys, Simon Poole and
newly elected Oliver Austin.
Cathy Hughes-D'Aeth wears the crown. Chris Kippin in thoughtful pose.
Rachel Mitchell and Ed Hughes-D'Aeth. Co-organiser Peter Furniss helps Bob Caton unwind at the end of the evening with a shoulder massage.
Sunday lunchtime in The Pilgrim. Roy LeMarechal and John Lennon.
Peal Recorder
Richard (no photos please) Allton.
Roy & Ann LeMarechal with a Superlambanana
And finally - one of the hazzards of inviting the ASCY to ring a peal at the tower where you learned to ring is that there are normally some embarrassing photos from the past lying around.  The Master, Mark Humphreys, is seen here at Port Sunlight in an altogether sweeter mode.

Back to Index