Ian Ralph Huckin
Our spare time and weekends was spent riding our bikes, playing hide and seek or other healthy activities.
One favourite was watching the girls on the swings, hoping for a glimpse of knickers. Well, we were only human! Sadly trousers started to get popular with the girls as they got older.
The Youth Club was the main time when we got together in social activities. We had a purpose built Youth Hall, which had been part paid for by the villagers. We had Bingo, Raffles, Jumble sales and even a Lottery to raise funds. The great thing about that, was the pride that the Villagers had in it. They owned it! Anyone seen messing about, which could have caused damage, was quickly dealt with. It was built for the Youth Club, but it quickly became the place in which to hold other functions. They wanted it to last. The club met two nights a week. But, what do you do the other nights of the week?
Surprisingly, we had a large number of youngsters, both boys and girls, interested in Bell-ringing. Not the namby-pamby handbells. This was the ones in the Church tower. We had six bells, and us young'uns rang the smaller ones. Some even had to stand on a box to reach the sally. We enjoyed it. But what about the residents near the church? Not a dicky bird from them. The bell clangers were all tied up, so they didn't know if we were out of tune! Thank God! But the tutors did.
Those who know little about the hanging of bells, should know that they don't hang dangling. They are at rest in the upright position, with a wooden stay, making sure they don't over topple. At the end of the peel (sorry to get technical) it rests gently onto the stay. Well that's the idea. If some idiot got over zealous, you could end up snapping the stay. It is at that point that the cartoon image of people flying up in the air, becomes a reality.
OK. I own up.
I was that bloody idiot.
But I'm not that stupid.
I let go of the rope!