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Society of
Est. 1637

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Country Meeting in Sheffield
Saturday 27th August, 2011
Photos Matthew Tosh.  Report by Quilla Roth (with assistance from others!)

This year’s ASCY Country Meeting was held in Sheffield over the August bank holiday weekend. Happily for several of us from outside the UK, it coincided with the conclusion of the UK11 tour, so we were able to attend the meeting as well as enjoy the ringing, the dinner, and the good fellowship that is a part of this annual event.

The weekend began officially on Thursday 25 August with the first of the 12 peal attempts the Junior Steward had scheduled as part of the weekend. As peals finished, and more people began to arrive, socializing also began in earnest at the Harlequin, the venue for Thursday night. On Friday more peals, more arrivals and more socializing, now upstairs at Henry's - the venue through Saturday lunch. In all, 9 successful peals were associated with the Country Meeting; 8 "official" ones and one rung on 24 August "in anticipation" of the Meeting.

Saturday was a day for general ringing rather than peals and included opportunities to ring at Norton in the morning and at Sheffield Cathedral and St Marie's Roman Catholic Cathedral in the afternoon. The Master and Senior Steward organized the ringing, which over the day ranged from rounds and call changes to Bristol Maximus and so accommodated all tastes (and many ringers).

After ringing at St Marie’s, the company moved next door for the formal Business Meeting in Holden Hall. Before the usual agenda items, Simon Reading briefly welcomed the Society to Sheffield. Members noted with appreciation that Simon’s admirable organizational skills included finding a local ringing brewer to provide beer for the dinner. Simon reported that this was in keeping with the tradition of excellent local beer in Sheffield, where according to a recent CAMRA survey, 257 real ales were on tap in pubs. He also announced that the brewer would be attending the dinner, so we could thank her personally for the products of her craft.

In the evening 123 members and friends assembled for dinner in Cutlers’ Hall, the grand 1832 building across from the Cathedral that is the focus for activities of the Company of Cutlers. Before an excellent meal served in the elegant green and gold Old Banqueting Hall (complete with the Company’s motto inscribed on the ceiling: “Pour y parvenir a bonne foi” – “To succeed through honest endeavour” – a motto with a certain aptness for ringers as well as cutlers) people chatted and enjoyed the specially brewed beers in the Drawing Room. Some also found time to admire the beautiful silver pieces arranged by century in display cases in the Silver Vestibule connecting the two rooms.

The tradition of no speeches was happily maintained, though the Master did take a moment to expand on his reasons for bringing the Society to Sheffield for the 2011 Country Meeting. In addition to the beer and the bells, there were family connections. His mother was born in Rotherham, from which she emigrated to Australia, and his great grandfather by nine was both baptized (1635) and buried at Sheffield Cathedral and was elected the Master Cutler in 1683.

The weekend concluded with Sunday service ringing at Rotherham and Sheffield Cathedral and two more peal attempts on Sunday afternoon. Sadly the attempt at St Marie’s came to grief due to a broken clapper after 3 hours of excellent ringing.

Many thanks to the Sheffield ringers, and especially to Simon Reading for all the work they did to make this weekend such a success and for making us so very welcome. We also thank the Secretary, John Hughes-D’Aeth, for handling the London end of things and the Junior Steward, Graham Bradshaw, for his efforts in arranging bands for the peal attempts.

Eric Trumpler and Joe Clark Rebecca Woodgate and David Rothera Philip Rogers and Michael Moreton
Rebecca Woodgate and Mark Esbester Andrew Stubbs and Philip Rogers Chris Kippin
The top table at the Country Meeting. Chaired by the Master, Philip Goodyer. Simon Reading gives the Society a welcome to Sheffield.
Junior Steward, Graham Bradshaw The Master welcomes new member Tina Walker ... ... new member Emma Chapman ...
... new member Jonathan Ratcliffe ... and new member Robert Convey. John Hill
Anne Bray and Carolyn Ormes David and Christine Potter talking to Chris Kippin Rebecca Sugden with David Hull and David Maynard
Joyce Croft, Tom Hinks, Jenny Croft and James Croft Brian Diserens and Tim Bradley Michael Moreton and Richard (Dick) Price
Leigh Simpson and Tessa Beadman Paul Bray, Anne Bray and Carolyn Ormes Eddie Martin and Clive Smith
Alan and Mae Ellis and Ann Hawkins Jennie and Katie Town, and David Hull Rupert and Cathy Cheeseman
Andrew Stubbs and Robert Convey Sam Austin, Michael Childs and Claire Muller James Croft and Andrew Wilby
Clare Griffiths and Philip Rogers Ross Finbow, Chris Bennett and Helen Turner Judith, Alan and Simon Reading
Cathy Cheeseman and Matthew Tosh Susan Rothera Jennie Butler and Philip Earis
Peter Hayward and Paul Williams Philip Goodyer and Dave Bassford Chris Rogers and Emma Humphrey
Stephen Mitchell and Andrew Stubbs Collection of silverware at Cutlers' Hall Eve Munns and Simon Linford
Christopher Woodcock, Dick Price and Chris Ridley Simon Darwin and David Jackson  

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