Christmas Day Ringing

St Mary’s, Henley-on-Thames

On Christmas morning, following an evening of ale-trailing, I found myself awake at 8.55am and unable to sleep. A quick “google” of the service times revealed that there was a service at St Mary’s at 9.30am. As I drove down to the town centre, I could not hear any bells, which was concerning, considering that I could normally hear them from my Mother-in-law’s house. Nonetheless, I parked up and hastily walked through town, and as I turned in front of the Town Hall, I heard the front six ringing rounds. 15 minutes after I woke up, I had climbed the tower  and was warmly greeted by the local band. It was straight into call changes on six.

Considering I had lived in Henley for a while, on and off, I still couldn’t quite believe I had never been ringing there. Admittedly when I was a resident, I had not yet returned to ringing since stopping in 2006.

I had heard plenty of people say how difficult the bells are, so I prepared for the worst. Despite what people say, I found them pretty reasonable. In fairness, I did only ring the third and sixth, and I hear that the seventh is the worst.

It was nice to do something to help out, and a good way to start the day. Afterall, I would only have stayed in bed for another hour or so, drinking tea and doing nothing productive.

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