OUR LIMERICK TRIP
One Saturday at April 27th we headed off on an early train for a day trip to Limerick. We had coffee first in the Hunt Museum which is the former Custom House, a beautiful 18th century building which was renovated and restored in 1996. We enjoyed some refreshments there and shortly it was time to go to St. Mary’s Cathedral, the first church we were ringing in.
As Darrell grew up in Limerick he knew his way around the city very well so on our way to St. Mary’s he brought us through the Milk Market. The market is one of the oldest in Ireland and sells a variety of foodstuff, some of which is produced locally. We nearly lost a few people going through there as there was so much fresh food and interesting things to look at it was difficult not to get sidetracked by them.
St Mary’s Cathedral is about 850 years old and is one of the oldest buildings in Limerick. We climbed the challenging steps up to the bell ringing chamber and before we began ringing the 8 bells we had an opportunity to step outside to see the stunning views of the surrounding city. We spent about an hour at St. Mary’s ringing call changes and methods and everyone got a chance to take part in the ringing.
Darrell’s family have a history of bell ringing in this tower. Craig, one of St. Mary’s bell ringers, rang with us and afterwards he brought us further up to the top of the Cathedral so we could enjoy more amazing views of the city. When we came back down into the Cathedral we had a lovely surprise when were greeted by Niall Sloane who many of us remember from his time in Taney. We continued on with a short walk to Bobby Byrne’s restaurant for lunch which was quite near the next church we would be ringing bells in.
Mount Saint Alphonsus is know locally as ‘The Fathers’. The steps up to the ringing chamber were quite steep it was like climbing a ladder. When we were all in the 10 bell ringing chamber, the trapdoor was closed for our safety until we needed to go back down the stairs. It is encouraging to go ringing in different towers and builds confidence to handle different ropes and bell weights. It was a positive experience to have some bell ringers with us who have only joined the team in recent times and to see them rise to the challenge of ringing bells other than those they are used to. Later as the eleven of us sat around the circular table in the train station’s coffee shop we all agreed it had been a wonderful day away. Where to next…watch this space.