The Wight way to Ring!
It can be a bit hit and miss weather-wise choosing somewhere to go on holiday in February. Last year we went to Portscatho in Cornwall where we walked the dogs in t-shirts (that's us, not the dogs!).......this year we went to the Isle of Wight where we needed our thickest, longest coats, bobble hats, windproof gloves, and wellies! We were, however, incredibly lucky with the ferry both ways as Storm Ciara was threatening on the way out and Storm Dennis on the way back but we managed to avoid both and had calm, undisrupted journeys.
Neither of us had been to the island since the early 90s so it was lovely to go back. It's a mixture of beautiful scenery, dramatic coastlines, long beaches, many of which are dog-friendly all year round (very important for our two doggies).......and lots and lots of places to ring bells!
I'd gone armed with a list of all the towers on the island, 15 in total. I couldn't quite believe how many. They're all listed on the Dove's Guide https://dove.cccbr.org.uk/home.php and also on the island's bell-ringing website https://wpbells.org/isle-of-wight/ . Lots of very useful information can be found on these websites, including on the island's site, how to find each Church, where the entrance to the ringing room is and the contact names and numbers of the Tower Captains. What more could I ask for!?
I could actually have rung on every day I was there, and in fact, my husband, encouraged me to ring as often as I wanted, but in the end, I rang at three towers, Godshill, Arreton, and Shanklin. I thought I'd save some for our next trip!
As always when visiting other towers, I was welcomed with smiles and the usual 'are you a ringer?'. I thoroughly enjoyed myself at each tower. It was also great to see a Band with four generations of the same family ringing.
Even though we had fairly awful weather, winds of 90mph, rain, hail, etc, etc, we had a great time. We visited Osborne House where dogs are allowed in the grounds, The Needles, Cowes, Yarmouth. It's a lovely place and if we have a chance to go back we will.
It struck me again that ringing can be a hobby for the whole family and also for individuals. If you fancy having a go then contact Trevor Lock and join us at Haughton Church. We have great fun at Monday Night practice, we ring before Sunday service and we have little outings to various parts of the country.
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