For many, the adventure of NUA began mid-afternoon. Alcohol supplies in tow, the first collection of ringers began their journey to York. A lack of seats though meant that they resorted to the safety of the train loo to consume their Pre-Pub Pint(s). The remainder made their way up to York a few hours later, with most people experiencing an easy escape from Nottingham, a perk of train travel.
On arrival in York, we made our way to The Postern Gate, ready for some much-needed alcohol consumption and a bite to eat. Pints and pitchers filled the table, the size of which increased at a rapid pace as more ringers arrived. A game of luggage Tetris began as bags piled higher and higher, in a bid not to block the fire escape. Seeing friends from previous years, or making new friends, the weekend got off to a fantastic start. Some surreptitious eyeing up of mascots occurred, with freshers being introduced to the aims of the weekend.
NUSCR left the Spoons Sesh earlier than others (much to the horror of some members), in order to acquire the NUSCR corner. We then set up the beds before recommencing with the drinking, following a restock of alcohol. Not long after our return to the hall I don’t think, I remember looking over to find our own Master, AKA King Lightweight, sleeping. What happened to seeing past midnight Ed? Clearly someone peaked too soon!
After an eventful night, of drinking, then the typical consequences of drinking, it was time to start a day full of ringing. First up was a bacon sarnie for breakfast, who doesn’t like the smell of bacon in the morning? Fuelled by bacon and caffeine, we set off for the Spurriergate Centre. At least there’s a lot of space there to fit all the ringers in the building. While this ringing was commencing, so was the striking contest back at St Lawrence. Two teams entered for NUSCR, giving everyone a chance to get involved.
After the 2nd team had rung their test piece, NUSCR congregated around a bench outside the church, and began playing human buckaroo on a hungover member… Upon everyone reclaiming their items from the game, we made our way to St Wilfrid’s, and onto Clifton Parish for some light hearted but delightful ringing. We then had a break to grab some lunch, easier said than done when Spoons can’t serve food due to a technical error. We eventually found some food and some seats in part of the extensive Christmas market. York is a very busy place!
York Minster followed lunch, where we found a block (blocc) to stand on. The next challenge was to get as many NUSCR members to stand on the block as possible, with the resounding chant “on the blocc” making a regular appearance. Sadly York stole our idea, with a picture taken with the caption “on a blocc” *Shakes head* No credits to NUSCR…
Due to the sheer volume of ringers, we were split into 4 groups to go up the Minster. It’s a long way up! However for the opportunity to ring at the Minster most people are willing to do anything now. Some glorious 12 bell ringing was displayed to the city throughout the afternoon.
After the Minster, the time came to head back to the hall for dinner, with a booze themed pit stop on the way, of course. After a lovely chilli for dinner, and the announcing of the contest results, which NUSCR A won, the ceilidh began, with lines and circles and even a few disappearances of people and mascots! The evening was a barrel of laughs, with MUGCR’s Gerald still evading detection (wherever he is now). The final event of the day was the Boat Race, where we cheered on the teams in hushed tones so as to not disturb the neighbours. A big congratulations to NUSCR’s team for coming 2nd, with Leeds, the reigning champions, crashing into last place, with much elation from all the societies.
On awaking on Sunday, I noted the strange appearance of chopped mushrooms scattered around the room. Apparently they had failed to make it into last night’s dinner, so they were used for the night’s entertainment of balancing mushrooms on sleeping people’s faces and other games. The last piece of ringing of the weekend was for service at St Lawrence, fuelled by another bacon sarnie. We then made our way back to Spoons for a 2nd breakfast before travelling back to Notts.
The weekend’s missions can be considered accomplished: Acquire mascots – tick, consume lots of alcohol – tick and don’t lose the boat race – tick.
A most enjoyable NUA experience.
Report by Rebecca Smith