Despite (or perhaps because) it being St Nicholas Day, 11 ringers from six towers turned out for the last Branch Practice (excepting the final Xmas practice) of 2017 at Charlton on Otmoor last night. Amongst us were “el Presidente” Willie Haynes – recovering from a recent cataract operation, Jeremy and Kathryn as well as Roy, visting Bicester from Washington DC for a few weeks.
After ringing up we had a few courses of Plain Hunt, followed by plain courses of Grandsire Doubles, striking improving as courses progressed, with Ally and Gareth inside, Roy trebling with guidance from Jeremy.
Our numbers and capability were increased by the arrival of Richard and Jan from Ludgershall, which meant we could ring some more challenging things.
We rang a touch of Plain Bob Doubles, Gareth on 4 unaffected, and Stephen on 5, affected, followed by a touch of Plain Bob Minor, Ann trebling, Steve on 5, called by Richard.
At Kathryn’s request, we next turned to plain courses of Stedman doubles, including the correspondent’s first attempt at ringing it on 4, helped by Willie. Not a disaster.
We then range a few plain courses of Grandsire again, before ringing a reasonably struck touch of Grandsire, featuring three bobs and six singles, called by Richard.
Finally, after ringing down in peal a number of the team retired to the Crown opposite.
Hope to see lots of you at the final Branch event of the year at Kirtlington on the 18th, where we will ring in a shortened practice, followed by apres-bell (but in which handbells may feature) at Caroline’s house nearby.
If not, have a very merry Christmans and a happy New Year.