This year’s events took place in Sonning Deanery beginning with a morning competition at Warfield. We welcomed back Louise Booth from Bermondsey and Docklands Ringing Centre who officiated at our 6-Bell final last month and, to assist her, she brought her dad, Peter Joyce from Gravesend, Kent.
Louise set down their modus operandi for judging striking competitions and added that the bells were a good choice for a striking competition on account of their falseness. They both enjoyed the musical test piece, 269 Grandsire Caters, especially the music of the back bells. Six teams took part, Oxford City Branch having had to cancel through lack of numbers.
Very consistent ringing. The back and front bells rang very well together. Leading was consistent with no method faults.
No method errors. The ringing got better as it went along. There were some anxious moments but they were soon rectified. There was some variation in speed.
Plenty of potential. Strangely, the ringing was better in the middle of the row. A few inconsistencies. A good rhythm was established with occasional gaps.
The last two leads were really good. Mostly good ringing but some rushing on the front bells. It was good while the back bells were on the front and they recovered well from a trip.
There was a bit of a trip near the end. Reasonable ringing and some of it very good. There were inconsistencies of speed between the front and back bells.
Last two leads were very good. If only the rest had been the same! Some bells were trying to beat the rhythm and there were hesitations. Could this have been attributed to the slower ringing speed?
People made a Herculean effort to attend in atrocious weather conditions, especially those from the North of the Guild. Unfortunately, the Ted Peett trophy couldn’t be presented as it seems to have been lost! Instead, young Jack Page, conductor of the Reading band was congratulated by the judges. You might have heard more about him in the Birmingham area! The judges were thanked warmly by Deputy Master, Tony Crabtree, as were the Warfield ringers for their arrangements and a splendid lunch.
Committee Meeting and Bell Fund Extraordinary Meeting.
This meeting, held in the Ark at Sonning Church, was called to discuss the future of the two Guild bell funds and to amalgamate them while satisfying the rules of the Charities Commission. This idea has been a bone of contention within the membership almost since the Capital Bell Fund was established in the ’70s by the late Henry Lawrenson et al. Brian Gatward, Vice President of the Guild and for many years its treasurer, gave us a history of the Restoration Fund, which was established in 1926 mostly in memory of dead ringers from WWI and, for some, this has always had some sentimental attachment. Tim Pett seconded the motion that the two funds should be amalgamated and this time, for the first time ever, there were no detractors.
Groups were formed to discuss how we can gain better methods of communication within the Guild and with other ringers and the general public. These ideas were shared with the membership and will be taken forward by the Master, Katie Lane and the rest of her team. They also have plans to make better uses of the General Committee and to reduce its numbers to make debate more efficient.
The Sonning ringers put on a fantastic and imaginative tea and were thanked for it, once again by the Deputy Master.
ODG 6- Bell Final at Chalfont St Peter on Saturday October 5th 2019
Eight teams dodged the inclement intervals and two entertaining judges, Louise Booth, Bermondsey, and Linda Georgiadis, St Giles, London, deliberated on the teams’ attempts. The church itself is ideally situated in front of an enormous car park, so ringers weren’t left scrambling for car-parking space!
Linda and Louise introduced themselves in true “Strictly” style and explained their methods of marking.
Wokingham All Saints
Rang doubles with a good open hand-stroke though the tenor behind had some issues. Quite good ringing with some unevenness.
Oxford St Giles
Rang plain courses. They had difficulty getting the right rhythm but it was a good attempt
Fairly steady ringing. They made a recovery from a hairy moment and kept going!
Woughton on the Green
They had a few ‘moments’ early on but it sorted itself out later.
Old North Berks
A nice piece of ringing! The tenor kept a lot closer here encouraging the other ringers to keep it moving along!
Another nice piece of ringing and the tenor also kept it moving.
Much slower test piece and they struggled with hand-stroke leads but otherwise fair ringing.
Drayton St Leonard
Treble and tenor were a good combination. Slower ringing but they rang as a team/
The judges agreed on the placings of the bands, though they didn’t go into great detail over individual attempts.
Deputy Master, Tony Crabtree, ensured that the day ran smoothly and thanked the local bands for their excellent catering and the stewards for their hard work.
Following a year of preparation, on Friday 5th July 2019, 10 young members of the ODG set off for Liverpool to take part in the Ringing World National Youth Striking Competition (RWNYC) which took place on Saturday 6th. After meeting Sophie who came up by train having set out very early on the Saturday morning, the team headed for some general ringing at a couple of ‘interesting’ 8’s at Bootle and Walton, producing some ringing of a somewhat mixed quality. More through the quality and ‘ringability’ of the bells than anything else. Daniel’s angry face was quite a picture when he seemed to be having some difficulty with the 2nd at Walton.
The team’s designated slot at the beautiful 42cwt 12 at St Nicholas, Pier Head was immediately before lunch, after which everyone settled for a few hours of good practice on handbells and some good fun on the mini rung in the ground of St Nicholas. It would have to be said that it was hard for the smaller bells to compete with the sound of the grand tower bells emanating from the tower almost all of the day.
Having been drawn to ring 22nd out of 24 entrants, the team set off for St Francis Xavier (8 @ 16cwt) ready for their big moment at 4pm. Following an allowed 5 minutes of practice, the following band performed 168 Grandsire Triples as their test piece:
Izzy Anderson-Besant (South Oxon)
Daniel Page (Reading)
Corey Gibson (Central Bucks)
Ben Gladwyn (EBSB)
Thomas Sherwood (Reading)
Sophie Martin (Old North Berks)
Dougie Vale (C) (North Bucks)
Josh Ball (Old North Berks)
By the time everyone had returned to Pier Head, there was not long to wait for the results at 6pm. In the packed church, the tension within the team was high as we got down to the last two teams with the ODG yet to be named. A tension that was abruptly let loose as the second place team was announced, confirming that the ODG had indeed won.
They had done it, first place in the National Competition. The team collected their medals and the Whitechapel Trophy was duly handed to Dougie, which Sophie subsequently managed to drop on the floor, much to the hilarity of all present. This did not however detract from the visible delight at having been placed first in such a prestigious event.
Judging comments – You rang steadily but in a controlled manner. You had a good sense of what you were doing as a team which kept you going through the odd inaccuracy. The roll ups and downs were executed well. Pleasing. Well done.
The Oxford Diocesan Guild 8 bell competition took place at St Mary the Virgin Great Brickhill, in the North Bucks branch on Monday 6th May. With a wonderful tea provided by the Great Brickhill WI, ringers were able to stroll between the village hall and the church, and listen to some very enjoyable ringing.
Four courses of Grandsire Triples was set as the test piece, and the competition was judged by Paul and Kate Flavell, who said the judging had been made difficult by the quality of the ringing. Seven branches entered teams – two more than the previous year, and the ODG youth band joined in. Although they did not complete the test piece, they gave us all a lesson in ringing down in peal, and we wish them the very best for the youth competition later in the year.
Reading St Mary and St Giles came first with a score of 85%, and the judges said that while the pace was fast, the little bells gave the big bells enough space, and they created a very good rhythm. High Wycombe came a close second, with 83%. They made no method mistakes and the striking improved as the test piece went on. Third were Central Bucks, with a score of 80%. There was only one method mistake and a very good recovery. In fourth place were Tilehurst with 78%, 5th place was tied between EBSB and Banbury on 75%, with North Bucks in 7th on 64%.
Many thanks were offered to our hosts in the North Bucks Branch for the welcome, stewarding and the tea, and everyone had a very enjoyable afternoon. The judges presented the trophy to Stephen Rossiter, the Reading team captain.
The 2019 Guild Eight-Bell Striking Competition will be hosted by the North Bucks Branch on Monday 6th May.
The Final will be held at Great Brickhill (SMV (8), 14-0-7) MK17 9BE starting at 4.30 pm.
If heats are needed, they will be at Calverton and Stoney Stratford at about 1400.
The closing date for entries is Sunday 14th April and this date will be strictly applied. Tower Captains/Correspondents will be advised of the time of ringing as soon as possible. The Competition is open to Branch and Tower bands and standard Guild Striking Competition Rules will apply.
The Test Piece will be four courses of Grandsire Triples (see attachment).
Entries must reach Tony Crabtree (email email@example.com) by the closing date. The names of the ringers must be given to Tony Crabtree or his deputy before ringing.
Pre booked Teas available at Great Brickhill from 5.00 pm. Please give numbers with your entry. Tea, coffee & soft drinks will be available without booking.