The University of Sheffield
Sheffield Universities' Guild of Change Ringers (SUGCR)
Sheffield Hallam University

NUA 2007 Tour - Nottingham

After much discussion on the trauma of past public transport NUAs we decided to take the bold step of doing the tour by car! As one of our cars belonged to one of our added extras, half of us travelled by train and the rest by car.

The car people arrived in good time (even managing a quick stop at ASDA for supplies!) and had an enjoyable time ringing at the 2 Friday night towers. Meanwhile, the train crew we subject to the wonders of the rail network….so were still in Sheffield an hour after they were meant to be leaving…

This lateness of trains ruled out any Friday night ringing so, of course, the pub and a game of Shed was in order! Soon after we were joined by all the people coming from the towers and an evening of beer, cards, catching up and meeting people ensued.

At closing time, we headed back to the hall for more fun and frolics – including the inevitable game of lump basketball, during which large chunks of his eyes were removed from his head!

Saturday dawned with a glorious breakfast of tea and beans on toast. Lump had mysteriously disappeared, despite Sarah's care! He was spied leaving in the back of the Cambridge oldies car…we had a serious case of Lumpnapping! So we piled into our 2 cars and set off in hot pursuit (smiling to ourselves as we drove past the queue of public transporters at the bus stop!) Having made excellent time to the first tower, a slight detour was made into Wilkinsons to buy tiaras (in substitute for party hats which seem to have gone out of fashion in Nottingham!) Lump was discovered hanging from the spider at the first tower and was retrieved back into SUGCR care.

The second tower of the day came with the added bonus of refreshments in the church - they hadn't been warned about the influx of hungry ringers so several trips to replenish supplies were needed before all ringers had had their fill of tea and bacon butties! We then headed into Nottingham town centre to ring at St Mary's which was a bit of a mission to find, but we got there just in time to have a ring and then those of us who were ringing the in scratch band for the striking competition (plus a few extras) popped into Sainsburys for lunch and rang. Those not ringing went for a rather more relaxed lunch in Spoons!

Towers after lunch provided little in the way of points of interest! We had a mad dash between after squeezing in the striking competition tower…again….! The test piece went very well (all helped by the tiaras I'm sure!) but the true enjoyment was the race down the stairs at the end and the cup of tea we found at the bottom!

Saturday evening started with the inevitable trip to the offy to buy beer and "boat race beer". The boat race beer was poured and left to warm in the boiler room hours before the event! The evening kicked off with chilli for dinner, followed by the SC results – we'd done very well and came out 2nd with 3.5 faults, just 1.5 faults behind BUSCR – well done chaps!

And then the Ceilidh… SUGCR put in a fine performance with great dancing all round – even Lump joined in, although he felt that baskets were a bit beyond him! Mid-Ceilidh spelled Boat Race time. We collected our now warm, flat Boddingtons from the boiler room and ventured into the freezing car park. We assembled our team in a nice line and waited for the signal. Juke was again the hero downing 2 pints with Jenny and Claire sharing a pint and Katy making up the quorum. It was a valiant effort and we managed to avoid winning the wooden spoon…phew!

Post boat race Ceilidhing was definitely more boisterous but somehow we all managed to come out with no broken bones! After the Ceilidh, a nice quite game of cards was called for, during which Lump managed to mysteriously disappear…This of course led to a game of "hunt the Lump" which proved unsuccessful so we headed to bed Lumpless!

After another beans on toast breakfast on Sunday we packed up and headed to the first tower. After navigating the one way streets (helpfully not marked on the A to Z) we made it in time to ring. None of us made it to the second tower – one car gave up and headed back to Sheffield (so Jenny could go to work!) and the rest of us headed to Weatherspoons for some much needed breakfast.

We all then headed our separate ways after a brilliant weekend!

The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK