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Bucks and Berks Young Ringers come 6th in the Ringing World National Youth Contest!

The Bucks and Berks Young Ringers (B&BYR) had a fantastic day out to York for the Ringing World National Youth Contest (RWNYC) (despite the 5am start!) with an 8-strong team ranging in age from 12 to 18 years old. As well as the striking competition, contest day includes a tower grab which this year saw the B&BYR ring at a selection of other towers ranging in weight from 10 lb 7 oz (the Beverley and District Mini Ring) to the 59 cwt twelve at York Cathedral where several of ours “grabbed” the tenor. The Bucks and Berks Young Ringers, drawn from children from across the local area, rang for the competition in the call change category as an eight-bell team, ringing 160 rows of call changes including Whittingtons and Queens.

In this area, there are two Young Ringers teams; the Bucks and Berks Young Ringers based mainly in the EBSB branch with some children from the Sonning Deanery branch who don’t want to miss out on the fun and the Oxford Diocesan Guild band which covers the rest of the Guild.

Unlike the ODG band which requires children to already be competent method ringers before they are allowed to attend practices, the B&BYR has never put restrictions on those that can ring with us and has always been open to anybody who can handle a bell. Indeed, one of our team only started learning to handle a bell at all in the last year and was not only able to represent the team in the competition, but rang at every tower on the outing including the cathedral! Those that have followed the successes of the B&BYR team will be aware that once the children turn 18, they are no longer able to enter the National Youth Contest. Last year, 2 of the six-bell team retired due to old age meaning half the team were new to competing for the B&BYR. Nonetheless a band made up of members from a couple of little local branches has this year come joint 6th out of 17 teams with a score of 7.5/10 in the National Youth Contest and our little branch has produced ringers that have beaten bands that cover entire Guilds and Associations! The other local band, the ODG, entered a 6-bell team into the smaller method ringing category and came joint 7th out of 8 teams with a score of 6.5/10.

If you see any of our band members at your tower practices, do congratulate them and I’m sure they would be delighted to show you their medal. Therefore, not only are the Bucks and Berks Young Ringers the “most fun Young Ringers Team in the UK” we are also one of the most successful teams having entered every year since 2018! Do look out for a full official report in a future edition of the Ringing World and look out for the B&BYR purple polo shirts in the photos!

Our victorious band were:

  1. Euan Thomas (Amersham)
  2. Matt Steele (Twyford)
  3. Charley Smith (Bray)
  4. Charlotte Lee (Arborfield)
  5. Sam Boughton (Hambleden)
  6. Becki Shuttleworth (C) (Sonning)
  7. James Moynihan (Arborfield)
  8. Jack Francis (Marlow)

Whilst the B&BYR now have their summer break, practices will restart in September and there are plans afoot for at least two ringing outings to be held with the Surrey Strikers and Go Bellistic! (the Salisbury Guild youth band) as well as the South East England Contest in the Spring.

As always, if you have any young ringers under the age of 20-something who would like to join in the fun and ring with what is now officially one of the best young ringers’ teams in the country, they would be more than welcome to come along to any of our practices held on the first Sunday of the month or contact either me or Simon Smith (the EBSB Young Ringers’ Co-Ordinator) to find out about our next event.

Peter Jasper

Team Leader for Bucks and Berks Young Ringers – the UK’s 6th best young ringers’ team!