Hosted in London for 2021 the Southern Universities Association was my first outing with UBSCR despite having graduated - the oddities of studying from home.
We travelled down on Saturday for a weekend of tower grabbing and striking competitions on 6 and 8.
Arriving at St Vedast (6 bell) we were informed of a rule change allowing for recent graduates to compete as there was no SUA 2020. This allowed for myself and a couple of others to compete and enabling Bristol to enter two teams for the 6 bell competition and have the numbers for an 8 bell team.
Ringing at St Vedast first we were given 5 minutes practise time and then we were to ring the competition piece (repeat for the second band). Practise was spent ringing Plain Hunt on five.
We also rang Plain Hunt for the competition piece, 120 changes or 12 leads. We were feeling pretty good afterwards with only one or two minor blips and nice striking.
After some discussion I was also drafted into Brisol's second band, Bristol 2.0. Again we had our five minutes practise time where we decided to ring Plain Bob Doubles and see how that went, as the practise was fine we rang it again for the compeition piece.
We then headed to St Mary-le-Bow for some general ringing on 12 and then back to St Vedast for results.
The comments were very positive overall and very complimentary to our tenor ringer (same for both bands), both pieces were within a couple of seconds of being rung at the same peal speed.
Bristol (1st band) came second and Bristol 2.0 placed first of seven bands representing (in addition to Bristol) Cambridge, Oxford, London and Southampton.
It was then onto St Anne's, Limehouse, via lunch at a Wetherspoons, where the back 8 of 10 were used for the 8 bell striking competition.
As Bristol were first in the draw some other teams at this point decided to head to one of the other towers early to get some extra practise on eight.
Given we'd already placed 1st and 2nd the general consensus was that we didn't need to try too hard in this competition and so we decided to see what ringing Double Plain Hunt Minimus, i.e. both the front and back four ringing Plain Hunt on four, would sound like. It didn't take much of our practise time to A) decide that this was fine and it'd be our competition piece and B) work out that almost every bell was slightly oddstruck.
Much to the annoyance of the Cambridge bands, it turns out that us not taking it seriously was still good enough to place first.
For Saturday's penultimate tower we took the DLR to Christchurch on the Isle-of-Dogs (also our accomodation for the night) to find the bells just rung down. What followed was an incredibly quick rise, course of Bob Minor and then lowering the back six bells again.
Lastly it was a quick hop over to Greenwich's St Allege where the bells were already half-muffled in preperation for Remembrance Sunday next weekend.
Dinner consisted of Dominos back at the Isle-of-Dogs though for me and most others it was more of liquid dinner...
Sunday morning was interesting as we needed to leave by 08:30 in time for a local service to start and for us to make it over to All Saints, Poplar for service ringing.
Some of the bells at All Saints needed their bearings looked at, the 5th and 6th were both juddering all down the rope.
The second stop of our Sunday morning service ringing was at Southwark Cathedral where the ringing was excellent bar some failed Stedman.
Lastly (after some breakfast at another local Spoons) we headed to St Olaves, Hart Street the home tower of the hosting ULSCR.