A lovely bright Saturday morning, not too cold, but better take plenty of layers as this afternoon we are playing at Shugborough Hall. Past experience tells us it will not be very warm and standing for a couple of hours ringing handbells the chill sets in.
Sue arrived first, only to discover at reception that they were not expecting us! A phone call to Wendy, whose phone was in the boot of the car, and then to myself, assured her that through lack of communication at Shugborough we definitely were booked to play today.
We arrived in plenty of time fortunately, as from the car park it is quite a way to the Mansion House; no buggy in sight, so best foot forward, carrying all our equipment and bells, we set off down the road. On arrival we were given a warm welcome and we set up our music stands and bells just off the entrance hall and prepared to play.
We played a variety of Christmas Carols, working our way through our repertoire, which took about 45 minutes. Plenty of people wandered through and commented how lovely the bells sounded throughout the house. A number of people stood around to listen and plenty of money went into our collecting box for the Donna Louise Hospice, the charity we support.
We then had a short break of about 10 minutes, for a sandwich and drink, apart from Dave, who never did manage to have his cup of coffee as more people were approaching and Wendy decided we had better play again.
The buggy driver came to ask what time we would be finished ringing as he would drive us back to reception which was very welcome.
We played through most of the carols again and, if any children came by, we played Jingle Bells, as we have some small jingle bells for them to ring along with us. A number of children took part including a little boy of about 18 months old who rang with great enthusiasm.
At 3pm we packed up our bells and headed to the clock tower for our lift back to reception. We were very grateful for the ride as it was beginning to get chilly as the sun had disappeared. After loading our things back in the car we headed for home after a really enjoyable afternoon.
Josie Bettany 7.12.19