The Kingston ringers kept up their tradition of visiting islands by including the Isle of Thanet in their Annual outing on 11 July 2015.
We started at the rather heavy going six at the impressive church of St Nicholas at Wade, so called because in medieval times it was necessary to wade through the marshes to get to the village! We didn’t have to wade through marshes to get to the Waterloo Tower in Quex Park, but it was necessary to drive across a field to get there.
The Waterloo Tower was built in 1819 by John Powell Powell to celebrate the victory at the Battle of Waterloo, The original twelve bells were cast in 1818/1819 by Thomas Mears of Whitechapel and four subsequently recast in 1951. The metal spire, not unlike the Eiffel Tower, was added by John Clark of Ramsgate in 1820. The tower and spire can be seen for miles around and several of our party took the opportunity to enjoy the views of the Thames and Kent from the top of the tower. The sound of the bells is rather mushy in the ringing chamber, making them tricky to ring to methods, but we managed to ring a bob course of Grandsire Cinques with the help of a couple of local ringers.
Lunch was taken in Minster where we had hoped to ring, but unfortunately the church was booked for an all-day conference of monks!
Following on from the light eight at Birchington with its vertical ladder, and slightly more difficult ten at St Lawrence in Thanet, we rang on the nice little six at Westgate. The last tower was Margate, a rather laborious 23cwt eight which sounded good but were hard work to ring. We felt we had acquitted ourselves fairly well during the day, especially our learners Matt and Isabelle, and were very satisfied with the outing. We celebrated with a drink and a snack in the Bell Inn in St Nicholas at Wade.