Once again, we’re in London for the month of July, and what a parade of festivities there has been! Most elaborate of all, of course, is Barnes Fair, which has grown (from what I hear from long-time natives) from a couple of trestle tables selling Pimms and lemon curd, to a full-blown extravaganza that draws thousands of visitors from all over southwest London. And we had the perfect day for it.
and then welcome the General Public to climb the 75 treacherously narrow treads of our Tower steps to the very top, there to be offered beautiful views of Barnes, Richmond and even further afield.
To think that there were people standing in that spot, gazing at fields and trees, 800 years ago!
Someone had to sit in the clock room, too, to make sure no naughty visitors tugged on ropes or otherwise disturbed all the delicate mechanisms of our belltower. The Victorian clock workings are just beautiful.
And the view from the clock room, through the trap door, down into my precious ringing chamber… a new perspective!
Of course part of the fun of being on the Tower Team is the walky-talky. “Sending four people up to you, Kristen,” says Charles cracklingly. “Copy that, Charles, I will welcome them. Over.”
I sat in the humid, stale clock room, smelling of bell ropes and old wood, listening to the visitors tramping up and down the belltower steps, listening to the cheerful chatter through the trap door. How I LOVE every moment I spend in this quiet village church, being a peaceful part of a ritual and community that seems not to have changed for 100 years.
There was much fuss over the main event of Open Tower Day: the Teddy Bears’ Parachuting. It wasn’t easy for Curate Ann and Freya’s mum to sort out the rope pulley, for one thing.
But eventually all was ready for the £1-per-teddy adventure!
Of course the Teddies’ Adventures in Space went extremely well, after all this preparation. Ann launched them on their journeys.
Some fell onto the roofline and had to be rescued with long poles, by Vicar Richard. Some had less perilous journeys.
It’s been a perfect maelstrom of events here in our London lives. All the seeds I’ve planted throughout the year somehow come up as regularly as our June lavender, every…
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