Thursday 23rd May 2024

Suffolk Guild Centenary Dinner, Saturday 25th March 2023


Ashlar House, Bury St Edmunds, was the base for the much-anticipated Suffolk Guild Centenary dinner.

On arrival, crowds of ringers, 130 to be exact, gathered round the bar where conversation flowed amongst friends and guests. Then came the announcement that dinner was to be served, which also included free wine! The food itself was delicious, a 3-course menu chosen by each person and rounded off with tea/coffee and petit fours. Throughout the meal the master of the ceremony, Rowan Wilson, invited groups such as, previous officers of the guild and new members, to take wine.

After a short break the entertainment began, consisting of a musical 3 leads of Kent on handbells. Then came the 50-year membership award, presented to the former Peal Secretary Alan Mayle via an entertaining and informative speech written by Christine Knight. The speech highlighted how reliable Alan has been as a ringer throughout the years, how he rings almost faultlessly and his eye watering peal totals.

Several speeches then followed. The Church and Guild was proposed by the Patron George Vestey. The responder of which was the president the Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich The Rt Reverend Martin Seeley, who talked about how his love of bells had grown since moving to Suffolk.  Next came the visitor’s speech, proposed by a very entertaining Phillip Gorrod, the responder being an equally light hearted Will Bosworth, editor of the Ringing World. Richard Munnings followed, highlighting the importance of the future generation of ringing, and introduced Lesley Dolphin and Mark Murphy from Radio Suffolk. Both radio presenters have done a lot to promote bell ringing and in particular activities of the Suffolk Guild, with Lesley even choosing bell ringing as a new skill to learn for a BBC East project.

To round off the formalities, a raffle of ticket numbers had been drawn, the winners of which were able to take home the beautiful floral displays which had adorned each table throughout the evening. Many then seized the opportunity to finish off the evening with dancing, including a conga train! and mingling with friends until the bar closed at 12.30.

Thanks to Rowan Wilson, Kate Gill and the rest of the team for putting together such a successful and enjoyable evening.

Clare Veal

Car Park. Table 11. Table 12. Table 99. Table 8. Table 10. Table 5. Table 4. Table 4. Rowan Wilson. Table 9. Cheese & Biccies. Top Table. Table 6. Table 2. Table 7. Table 3. Table 1. Rowan Wilson, Katharine Salter & Kate Gill. Sally Munnings, Mike Whitby, Janice Davies, Amanda Richmond & Brian Whiting. Standing around. Standing around. Handbell ringers. Alan Mayle receiving his 50 year membership certificate. George Vestey - Patron. The Rt Reverend Martin Seeley - President. Philp Gorrod. Will Bosworth - Editor of The Ringing World. Richard Munnings. Mark Murphy & Lesley Dolphin. Mark Murphy & Lesley Dolphin. Mark Murphy & Lesley Dolphin.
Photos: Mike Cowling

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