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A Society Peal by Residents on Mainland Europe: 16th October, 2010
Report and Photographs by Clive Smith

With the fast growth of the Central European Association in the last few years, building on the perhaps surprising number of ringers resident on mainland Europe, there has been many a conversation during the long après-cloche sessions of beer, wine and port of how many Society members we have in the CEA. It was established that there were 9 of us so the obvious thing was to arrange a peal or two which we duly resolved to do. This would be the first Society towerbell peal on mainland Europe (previously there has been a peal on the mini ring at Senouillac) but more importantly the first for the Society by a band all resident on the mainland. 6 months passed and we duly resolved again. Another 6 months passed but this time we were actually gathering at ‘t Klockhuys in Dordrecht ready for the attempt.

With members arriving from 5 countries, and despite the long distances involved: flights from Geneva & Stuttgart to Amsterdam and then an hour on the train or a 5 hour drive from Frankfurt and much further from central Switzerland, we all arrived without problem (no last minute broken trains and dashes via taxi’s) and started on time. Quickly getting past some nerves (from the conductor (bob caller) and organiser) we settled into some good ringing which continued to improve to the end.

One great advantage of ‘t Klockhuys is the kitchen with a plentiful supply of beer which, in true Society style, we were quickly celebrating with. The orange juice left from the SRCY visit a few months earlier remained untouched. After Peter left us to continue his journey off-shore to the UK a good quarter of 8-spliced, a first for Harm Jan, was scored and we headed off to the restaurant where Eric joined us having arrived by train from southwest Germany. Back at ‘t Klockhuys a wide variety of cheese & good quality port was enjoyed. Being a Society dinner, of sorts, we had to have plenty of toasts and so “the Past Master would like to take port with…” was often heard.

Port and good conversation flowed long into the night at the hotel, however we managed to re-assemble the following morning when a fine peal of Cambridge was scored. The ‘t Klockhuys traditional ringers lunch followed and most of the German contingent departed prior to a final quarter being rung by those with later flights or the locals with shorter drives. A successful society weekend which I am sure will be repeated, who knows by then we may have even more members on the continent. Thanks must go to Paul de Kok for the usual very warm welcome and organisation and of course for having the vision to create such a superb installation.

The band for the second peal (unfortunately a photo was not taken of the band for the first peal) standing in anti-clockwise order from back right: 1 Brian Diserens, 2 Eric Trumpler, 3 Rodney Yeates, 4 Paul de Kok, 5 Clive Smith, 6 David Ockwell, 7 Alban Forster (C), 8 Graham Scott Some refreshment arrives in the restaurant, one of several! Having arrived after everyone else, Eric catches up on some beer.
Back at ‘t Klockhuys some cheese and port about to be enjoyed. Rodney Yeates, Brian Diserens, Eric Trumpler, Graham Scott and some cheese & port. Graham serves the drink and Alban Forster looks on in anticipation with some strange drink in the foreground left by the SRCY who visited a few months earlier
Eric tops Alban up with some port. Tucking into the cheese. Past Master, Brian Diserens, takes port with fellow UL member Graham Scott.

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