of a Fair, a Fourth, and other July bliss

-- July 13th, 2015 --
tower plane

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.

carouselI vol­un­teered to be part of the Open Tower Team, which means that we low­ered all the bells to their safe, downward-hanging position…

bells downand 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.

tower view1

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.

clock

And the view from the clock room, through the trap door, down into my pre­cious ring­ing cham­ber… a new perspective!

clock room view

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.

ann jo

But even­tu­ally all was ready for the £1-per-teddy adventure!

ann jo2

Of course the Ted­dies’ Adven­tures in Space went extremely well, after all this prepa­ra­tion.  Ann launched them on their journeys.

ann bear

Some fell onto the roofline and had to be res­cued with long poles, by Vicar Richard.  Some had less per­ilous journeys.

teddy1

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