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Striking Competition Results

O.D.G 10-Bell Competition 2013 at Thatcham

Deputy Master, Alan Marchbank, announced his pleasure in being able to persuade six teams to enter the competition this year. In fact, he said many things, including, “How marvellous to travel 70 miles and be greeted with a steaming hot mug of coffee in a nice warm hall” – or words to that effect. In fact, Thatcham turned out to be the perfect venue for the striking contest in the morning and the afternoon meeting. Despite the local ringers having to be on duty all day, Thatcham was particularly bountiful in the tea department: I can't remember having been so pampered before on one of these occasions.

The competition started on the stroke of 10.00 by St Mary's clock and kept to time throughout the ringing. The judges, Chris Bulleid from Pattishall and Martin Lazell from Kingston on Thames, took about 40 minutes deliberating over the outcome: six competent branch teams obviously required extra thought! Both judges marked the faults and then combined their results, dividing the total. They marked half a point for a clip and one point for a more serious error. They were agreed about the order of all the teams. They suspected that Thatcham wasn't the easiest tower to ring as a 10 and they certainly aren't the easiest to hear inside the tower. The small, light bells are difficult to hear among the big bells.

They said of Banbury that it was never easy to ring first as they had to set the standard.

Ringing OrderPlacingFaultsComments
1. Banbury6th162.5 The opening rounds were all right but the band struggled to find the rhythm. The ringing remained nervous and unsettled throughout.
2. Vale of White Horse4th87.5 Good rounds. A mistake in the practice meant an unsettled start. After that the test piece improved throughout.
3. Reading2nd74.5 So far, the best leading in the competition. The test piece continued to improve throughout. Six extra lots of rounds were rung at the start, which were judged.
4. Old North Berks 5th 97 Good opening rounds but they rang faster than the other teams and the test piece was 20 seconds faster all-told. The ringing was a little uneven and lacked precision : it might have been better slightly slower.
5. EBSB1st44.5 A very good rhythm. Very settled ringing. It would have been nit-picking to find fault.
6. Newbury3rd81 Leading a bit quick and there were minor clips throughout. The pull-out of rounds was rather uneven. There was generally good ringing in the test piece with minor clips.

The results were announced at the afternoon committee meeting and thanks given for those who helped to make the day such a success. (Judges' comments combined from the pens of Robert Newton, Alan Marchbank, Tim Pett and Bobbie May)

Placed First: EBSB Branch
Photo L – R Anticlockwise. Treble: Sheila Bruce 2. Ann Davies 3. Angela Darvill 4. Katharine Firman 5. Patricia Newton 6. David Sullivan 7. Graham Firman 8. George Whiteside 9. Charles Botting 10. Robert Newton (C)
Placed Second: Reading
Photo L – R Anticlockwise Treble: Prof. Stephen Smith 2. June Wells 3. Giles Winter 4. Jo Knight 5. Jack Page 6. James Champion 7. Colin Newman 8. Robert Partridge (C) 9. E. John Wells 10. Douglas Beaumont
Reading Band
Placed Third: Newbury
Photo L – R Anticlockwise Treble: Rebecca Browning 2. Imogen Sculthorp 3. Angela Brown 4. Rosamund Durham 5. John Durham 6. Joanne Waller 7. Mark Robins 8. J. Martin Rice 9. Michael Hurst 10. Benjamin Waller (C)
Newbury Band
Placed Fourth: Vale of the White Horse
Photo L – R Anticlockwise Treble: Cheryl Watson 2. Kay Chamberlain 3. Erica Crabtree 4. Jon Chamberlain 5. Lucy Laird 6. Tom Edgworth 7. Paul Coad 8. Mark Boylan 9. Joe Norton 10. Tony Crabtree (C).
Vale of White Horse Band
Placed Fifth: Old North Berks
Photo L – R Anticlockwise Treble: Lee Pinnington 2. Tim Pett 3. Gillian Loyd 4. Mary Friskney 5. Mark Vincent 6. Josie Irving 7. Ryan Mills 8. Richard Loyd 9. Stuart Gibson 10. Nick Clarke (C).
Old North Berks Band
Placed Sixth: Banbury
Photo L – R Anticlockwise Treble: Malcolm Hensher 2. Heather Bletchley 3. Alison Varney 4. Zöe Lee 5. Alan Griffin 6. Harry Gibson 7. Jonathan White 8. Robin Green 9. Graham Clifton 10. Colin Lee (C).
Banbury Band
Presentation of Trophy
Robert Newton receives the Ted Peett trophy from Chris Bulleid and Martin Lazell
Presentation of Trophy

The afternoon general committee meeting was also conducted at Thatcham. The Oxford Guild take their striking competitions very seriously as was demonstrated in the amount of time set aside for the discussion of the 6, 8 and 10-bell competitions, their structure and organization.

Bobbie May

Six Bell Striking Competition 2013

This year's 6 bell competition attracted entries from 13 towers, each representing their Branch. This is the largest number of entries for many years, and so there were heats at Little Missenden and Ellesborough, to determine the 6 teams who would ring in the final at Monks Risborough.

The Heat at Ellesborough was judged by Alan Shephard from Dunstable, and Hilary Reading from Loughton, Milton Keynes.

They placed the teams as follows

FirstAll Saints, High Wycombe4 faults
SecondWokingham, All Saints18.5 faults
ThirdThatcham30 faults
FourthWantage33.5 faults
FifthWoodstock56 faults
SixthLongcot78 faults

Special recognition is due to the Longcot band and who had the lowest average age by a considerable margin and included three teenagers. They rang creditably, despite some nerves and we look forward to future appearances.

At Little Missenden, Ken and Sue Davenport from St Paul, Wokingham, judged the ringing of 7 teams. Their decision was

FirstDrayton St Leonard24 faults
SecondAston Clinton28 faults
ThirdSt. Aldate, Oxford36 faults
FourthSteeple Aston39 faults
FifthTilehurst42 faults
SixthWoughton on the Green44 faults
SeventhBicesterDid not finish

And so the top three teams from each heat went onto Monks Risborough where an excellent tea of sandwiches and cakes provided the necessary refreshment and energy for the final round.

The Judges for the final were John and Penny Pardoe, from Greens Norton near Towcester. They were settled in a house just outside the churchyard with clear sight of the tower and could hear all the bells well (too well, some might say!). The six teams rang their test pieces, finding the bells more or less challenging, with some odd struckness and very marked muffling effect of sallies going through ceilings adding to the complex mix of emotions.

In making their remarks, John recognised that all the ringing was of a very high standard, but that some teams found and maintained their pace and rhythm despite the challenges. A couple of teams suffered minor method mistakes but these were corrected almost immediately. They placed the teams as follows.

FirstHigh Wycombe14 faults
SecondThatcham18 faults
ThirdSt Aldate, Oxford26 faults
FourthDrayton, St Leonard27 faults
FifthAston Clinton31 faults
SixthWokingham, All Saints33 faults

Congratulations to High Wycombe worthy holders of the Trophy for a further year.

Thanks to everyone who made the day a success, especially the six judges, the incumbents who allowed us the use of their bells and the Kimble and Ellesborough WI who provided the tea.

Alan Marchbank.

High Wycombe Band
High Wycombe, Winners
Thatcham Band
Thatcham Band, placed 2nd
St. Aldate Oxford Band
St. Aldate, Oxford Band, placed 3rd
Drayton St. Leonard Band
Drayton St. Leonard Band, placed 4th
Aston Clinton Band
Aston Clinton Band, placed 5th
Wokingham Band
Wokingham Band, placed 6th
8-bell Competition Results 2013

The day began briskly, as it so often does, with the bells available before the given time and soon the early towers had run out of Day Tickets, which could only be for the good of the ODG Bell Fund. However, in some places, towards the end of the hour, numbers were thin on the ground in the afternoon: I couldn't make out whether this was due to log-jam on the Motorway in Windsor or whether people had run out of energy. The superb weather had certainly brought ringers out from all parts of the country but, unfortunately, it had also brought out people intent on numerous other pastimes and we found the roads jammed with car-booters, riding eventers and all manner of folk intent on having a splendid day out in the sunshine. Fortunately, the competitors for the Ted Peett 8-bell trophy all managed to arrive at Bray in time for the main event of the day.

The lovely, deep-toned bells at Bray are not for the unpractised or faint hearted. At just over 24 cwt. competitors must have had to look carefully for other bells on which to practise the test piece, St Simon's Bob Triples, which turned out to be a very musical method on musical bells. It was a treat to sit in the church yard, itself very attractive at this time of year, and just listen to some good ringing. Tea was held in the hall behind the church and Alan Marchbank, Deputy Master, thanked the Judges; Peter Mackie who arranged the competition; the Revd. Coles for the use of the bells; Graham Firman the tower captain and Wenda Fowles and team for the splendid rolling buffet.

The judges, Kate and Paul Flavell, made some general comments at the start which were relevant to several of the teams. “You are all winners!” they said. “Think of all the teams which didn't take part.” They said that all the ringing was to a good standard and the teams made good use of their practice times, ringing changes as well as rounds. Several of the bands encountered problems when moving from the rounds into the method. They were very pleasant bells to listen to though possibly some were a little odd struck. Graham Firman, the tower captain, suggested 3 hrs. 15 for an average peal speed of triples.

1stSt. Mary Reading85%3h08 There were rushed leads near the start and occasional irregularities but, generally, it was nice rhythmic ringing. The second part was very good and there were no method errors.
2ndHigh Wycombe83%3h07 The rhythm at the start was good. The little bells clipped some of the bigger bells and there were some rushed leads. The ringing settled down and there was a good recovery from a slight fault. The tenor ringing was good.
3rdEBSB Branch Band81%3h14 The opening rounds were good but the ringing became uneven in changes. Holding up at the front caused clips later in the row. There were some rushed leads and a crunch near the end but no real method mistakes.
4thOxford City79%3h03 This team set off at a faster pace and took a while to settle down after a method mistake. There were a few trips and rushed leads but it settled well towards the end.
5thTilehurst74%3h15 Good opening rounds. In method the ringing speed was inconsistent and it took a while to settle. The front 4 bells and the back 4 were ringing at different speeds making the ringing uneven and there was no agreed ringing speed. They recovered well from a method error.
6thBanbury Branch71%3h14 The opening rounds were good but the ringing was uneven in changes. The little bells were clipping the big bells and it was uneven throughout. They recovered well from a method mistake.
Winning team: Reading St Mary: Treble June A. Saint 2. June D. Wells 3. Ian G. Judd, 4. Jack Page 5. Timothy R. Forster. 6. Peter R. Ellis. 7. Stephen A. Rossiter (C). Tenor E. John Wells.
High Wycombe
2nd Place: High Wycombe, All Saints: Treble Sheila Bruce. 2. Ann Davies. 3. Patricia M. Newton. 4. David Sullivan. 5. George Whiteside. 6. Charles M. S. Botting. 7. Robert H. Newton (C). Tenor John E. Hearn
3rd Place: EBSB Branch: Treble John Davidge. 2. Angela Darvill. 3. Katharine Firman. 4. Timothy Yates. 5. Pete Mackie. 6. Martin Whitaker. 7. Graham Firman (C). Tenor Godfrey Reynolds.
Oxford City Band
4th Place: Oxford City Branch: Treble Michael O'Hagan. 2. Dorothy G. Hall. 3. Robin O. Hall. 4. John G. Pusey. 5. Jonathan Cresshull (C). 6. Mark D. Tarrant. 7. Leon G. Thompson. Tenor David K. Barrington.
Tilehurst Band
Tilehurst Band, place 5th
5th Place: Tilehurst, St Michael: Treble Joanne P. Druce. 2. Joanna L. Shepherd. 3. David R. Bardwell. 4. Christopher S. Wells. 5. Colin G. Newman. 6. Colin R. Cairns. 7. D. Giles Winter (C). Tenor Christopher J. Johnson.
Banbury Band
Banbury Band, placed 6th
6th Place: Banbury Branch: Treble David Field. 2. Liz Smith. 3. Lionel Smith. 4. Heather Bletchly. 5. Alan Griffin. 6. Robin Green. 7. Graham Clifton (C). Tenor Jonathan White
Presentation of Trophy

The moneys collected from the Ringing Day will go to the Oxford Diocesan Guild Bell Fund. Watch this space!

Bobbie May

You can listen to part of the test piece as rung by the winning Reading band.

Guild 6 Bell Striking Competition 6th Oct 2012 at St. Nicholas, Tadmarton, Oxon

The Guild 6 bell striking competition was this year hosted by the Banbury Branch and attracted entries from 9 Branches, each being represented by a Tower from within the Branch. As usual the test piece was one minute of rounds followed by 240 changes.

The weather was exceptionally fair for an enjoyable afternoon listening to really excellent ringing on an eclectic mix of founders offerings which have been improved by Whitechapel's tuning machine and White's re-hanging. They are not difficult to ring or to hear either inside or outside so a good choice for a striking competition.

The weather being kind meant the judges, James Marchbank and Ben Hockenhull, from Macclesfield, were able to sit in a secluded spot in the churchyard and determine the quality and accuracy of each band's test piece.

In his opening comments James explained how he had marked the ringing and how the scores were calculated. He commented that the ringing was of a very high standard throughout.

The teams were placed in the following order

Position Tower Branch Faults
1st High Wycombe EBSB 17.5
2nd Thatcham Newbury 19.5
3rd Reading St. Mary the Virgin Reading 20.5
4th St. Aldates, Oxford Oxford City 26
5th Wantage Old North Berks 30.5
6th Drayton St. Leonard South Oxon 34.5
7th Woodstock Witney and Woodstock 39.5
8th Hanslope North Bucks 40.5
9th Bodicote Banbury 44

Thanks to the Banbury Branch for making the event possible and especially Heather Bletchly and Barry Davis who managed the teams in and out of the tower efficiently throughout the afternoon

Alan Marchbank

Guild 8 Bell Striking Competition Results 2012

Nine teams entered the competition, which was hosted by South Oxon Branch at St Helens, Benson, Oxon. The weather was kind to us and the sun shone for a good part of the afternoon which was really rather important as our judge, Mike Chester from Coventry, was housed in a gazebo in the corner of the church yard.

In his general comments Mike said that he had not heard any bad ringing during the afternoon, and that it had been a very close contest. The teams who had maintained a consistent pace produced better ringing. There was a tendency to slow down during the test piece and this did not improve the ringing. The results reflected just how well many teams had rung.

Position Band Faults Comments
1st High Wycombe 34 Practice slowed down, Test piece ringing was brisk and the most consistent of the afternoon. It was the right speed for the band and bells and this made for a good rhythm.
2nd EBSB 34.5 There was a long gap between the practice and the test piece. This time was well used. The test piece was settled and consistent with only the odd slow lead. Very good ringing.
3rd Oxford City 42 Rounds were good and settled.1st course of changes was good, but there was a trip at the Home. Parts of the 2nd course were very good.
4th Reading 50 Practice struggled to settle. Test piece was better but it slowed down which disturbed the rhythm. Good ringing overall.
5th Banbury 52 Practice started fast and slowed. Good rhythm – 1st course of test piece was better then the 2nd, which contained a few gaps and clips.
6th South Oxon 62.5 Practice was good but it slowed. Test piece was better when the bells were pushed along, when it slowed clips developed. There was 1 method error.
7th Newbury 63 Decent ringing throughout. There was some uneven leading. The 2nd course of the test piece was better than the 1st.
8th Witney and Woodstock 64.5 Rounds took time to settle. There were trips and gaps throughout and as it slowed it became less even.
9th North Bucks 65.5 Decent effort. Leading was a little slow and occasionally late. There was a speed change during the test piece which did not improve things.

Robert Newton representing High Wycombe, was presented with the Cup by Mike Chester. Mike was thanked by Alan Marchbank for judging the contest and was presented with a token of our appreciation for his efforts.

The organisers of the event were thanked, as were the providers of the teas and refreshment.

Alan Marchbank

Teams in ringing order (with thanks to Bobbie May for the photographs):

Team 1. North Bucks

North Bucks Band

Ringers Treble front row R.anticlockwise. Treble Nick Read 2. John Marchbank 3. Roy Keeves 4. Charles Knight 5. Jonathan Griggs 6. Doug Hird 7. Alan Marchbank 8. David Phillipson (C)

Team 2. EBSB


Treble Katharine Friman 2. Angela Darvill 3. Valerie Simmons 4. Alison Bayley 5. John Davidge 6. Martin Whitaker 7. Graham Friman (C) 8. Kenneth Darvill

Team 3. Reading

Reading Band

Treble June Saint 2. June Wells 3. Jack Page 4. Jenny Page 5. Jo Druce 6. James Champion 7. Giles Winter 8. John Wells (C)

Team 4. South Oxon

South Oxon Band

Treble Kay Bartholomew 2. Cathy Hughes D'Aeth 3. Sue Dyke 4. Christopher Rogers 5. John Tchighianoff 6. Hilarie Rogers (C) 7. John Hughes-D'Aeth 8. John White

Team 5. Banbury

Banbury Band

Treble Keith Abbott 2. Alan Griffin 3. Charlotte Holmes 4. Heather Bletchly 5. Chris Holmes 6. Robin Green 7. Graham Clifton 8. Colin Lee (C)

Team 6. High Wycombe

High Wycombe Band

Treble Sheila Bruce 2. Ann Davies 3. Josie Martin 4. Patricia Newton 5. Alan Bain 6. George Whiteside 7. Charles Botting 8. Robert Newton (C)

Team 7. Newbury

Newbury Band

Treble Rosemary Evans 2. Eleanor Rice 3. Imogen Sculthorp 4. Bill Butler 5.Andrew Clark-Maxwell 6. Michael Hurst (C) 7. Mark Robins 8. Martin Rice

Team 8. Oxford City

Oxford City Band

Treble Dorothy Hall 2. Catherine Lane 3. Richard Youdale 4. Paul Lucas 5. David Barrington 6. John Pusey 7. Jonathan Cresshull (C) 8. Robin Hall

Team 9. Witney & Woodstock

Witney & Woodstock Band

Treble Michael Probert 2. Lindsey Thornton 3. Alison Merryweather-Clarke 4. Roger Barnes 5. David Floyd 6. Lorna Curtis (C) 7. Richard White 8. Brian Curtis

Four Shires Striking Contest 2011

This event took place on Saturday 19th November, after an absence of about seven years from the ringing calendar. It was held at Cherington, Warks: a handy, light, ground-floor ring of six.

With Wantage (the highest placed Oxfordshire band in the Guild contest) being unavailable, Drayton St Leonard were invited to be our representatives. The format of the competition, which comprises raising in peal, 120 changes of a method and lowering in peal, dictated some specialised practice. Some sessions in advance, including one at Shabbington, and another at Cowley on the morning of the competition, focused heavily on raising and lowering and to a lesser degree on the touch of Grandsire.

The first team to ring (Warwick, ringing Grandsire) had a good rise and fall but their 120 did have a couple of one-blow errors and was described by the judges as having ‘quite a few gaps’. They were followed by the representatives of Worcestershire (Eckington – Stedman) with an even better rise and fall but some very unfortunate clashes, apparently in the vicinity of singles. The third band, representing Gloucestershire (Dursley – Cambridge) had a superb rise and their Minor seemed to have no blemishes at all until the treble slipped wheel after 90 changes, resulting in disqualification and making their slick lower rather immaterial.

Drayton St Leonard rang last. The rise was described as ‘not the best’ by the judges, which members of the band felt was quite charitable of them. However, the 120 of Grandsire was rung in fine style, without even a hint of a method mistake. The lower was better than the rise but still not on a par with some of what had been heard earlier.

The five judges: Bill Nash (Four Shires), David Leafe (Warks), Ian Unsworth (Gloucs), Alan Hartley (Worcs) and our own Ken Davenport, did not take long to reach a decision. In this competition, it is traditional to announce only the top two bands and not to give any ‘scores’ whatever. Drayton St Leonard were rather stunned, and delighted, to be placed first ahead of Warwick in second place, their steady 120 having clinched it. It was generally felt that Dursley's bad luck cost them first place.

The Drayton St Leonard band was: Charlotte Rogers, Robert Newton (borrowed!), Christopher Rogers, Hilarie Rogers (C), John White and Amy Herlihy. It is to be hoped that there will be enthusiasm for running this event again in future years.

Robert Newton

Four Shires Drayton St. Leonard Band
ODG 10-bell competition 2011

The 10-bell competition this year was held on the recently restored and augmented 10 at Shrivenham, on Saturday November 26th. Eight teams entered, which was a record entry and most encouraging.

The judges were Kate and Paul Flavell from New Malden. Their comments were that Shrivenham was a nice 10, easy to hear and with no obvious odd-struckness. Marking was 2 for a good row, 1 with a clip and 0 for a crunch or two clips. The judges awarded percentages with higher scores for the better teams. Their tips included: all ring at the same speed; don't rush the leads or leave holes; exude confidence, not arrogance.

The test piece, 287 Grandsire Caters was a mixture of tittums and handstroke home: the piece was marked fairly severely because of the high quality nature of the competition. The judges would have preferred to hear more runs in the touch.

At Shrivenham the bells are all but inaudible inside the church: had a Rave been taking place inside the church during the competition, neither the ravers nor the ringers would have been any the wiser but for the audience which, in any case, would have had to have gone outside in the biting wind to listen and there were very few takers for this!

Many thanks must go to the Shrivenham ringers for supplying coffee, tea and ploughman's lunches. The day was very tight for time as some ringers had to go further north in the afternoon to the Guild Autumn Meeting. Thanks must also go to Alan Marchbank, Deputy Master, for helping to produce a seamless arrangement of ringing and for keeping, in the main to schedule. How did you manage to get hold of the President of the Central Council when she is so busy! And her equally busy husband, Paul?

Branch Rang Placing  %  Peal Speed Comments
Old North Berks 1st 6th 77 2h56 Lots of little bells clipping over big bells. Not all agreed on speed before going in to changes. Hence trips. Tenor good rhythm. Most faults at the back. Improved as it went along. Still a bit edgy and uneven.
Vale of the White Horse 2nd 4th 82 2h59 Good, confident practice. Touch rung at a good speed and with confidence. Good recovery from trip but didn't get back the rhythm and hence quite a few clips.
E.B.S.B. 3rd 1st 89 3h16 Whole piece measured and was consistent throughout. All had the same speed goal. Confident. Few faults. Occasional clips.
Central Bucks 4th 3rd 83 2h58 Very fast practice. Fast rounds settling into a crisp rhythm. Few faults. Little trips and rather edgy. Some little bells were clipping. Improved. Good over-all ringing.
Sonning Deanery 5th 7th 69 3h02 Choppy going in to changes. Not agreed on speed which led to some faults. Hesitant and never really settled to a steady rhythm, though got better. No major mistakes.
Reading 6th 2nd 84 3h19 Good, steady practice. Good opening rounds and once into changes ringing settled well. Occasional hesitations upset the rhythm.
Newbury 7th 5th 79 3h21 Peal speed 3.21. Difficulties in the practice. Measured opening rounds which never really settled. No method mistakes. Generally good but some small trips. Slow speed contributed, making it difficult to settle into a rhythm.
Banbury 8th 8th 67 3h13 Difficulties in the practice. Problems settling and ringing together as a unit. Some very nice runs. Lots of problems and did well keeping it together.

As it can be seen, there were only 12 percentage points between 1st and 6th place with very little difference in the positions in the middle.

The teams in order of ringing:

The intention was to have the team in the order of ringing, starting with the treble on the left behind the seat and working round clockwise, finishing with the tenor. However, in the event, only three ringers managed to squash together on the seat and, in many cases, not all that convincingly, so the tenor ringer ended up on the left hand side, sometimes to the left of the treble and sometimes in front! Now I appreciate the rather strange arrangement of ringers in the 12-bell competition: it's not as easy to organize as it seems!

Old North Berks

The photo will indicate that there are 11 ringers in the team, possibly with one strapping the enormous tenor. However, the reality is that Gill Loyd had psyched herself up so much and even ascended to the belfry before the start, awaiting the arrival of the late Mr Pinnington, that I thought she had suffered too much already and deserved to be in the photograph!

ONB Band

L-R Clockwise: Gill Loyd (reserve), Lee Pinnington – Treble, Stuart Gibson 2, Josie Irving 3, Mark Vincent 4, Dave Endacott 5, John Napper 6, Tim Pett (C) 7, Chris Tuckett 8, Nick Clarke 9, Richard Loyd – Tenor.

Vale of the White Horse


Kay Chamberlain – Treble, Teresa Sugden – Tenor, Cheryl Watson 2, Erica Crabtree 3, Lucy Laird 4, Jenny Crabtree 5, Jon Chamberlain 6, Steve Munday 7, Julian Watson 8, Tony Crabtree (C) 9.



Alan Ainsworth – Tenor, Sheila Bruce – Treble, Katharine Firman 2, Angela Darvill 3, Patricia Newton 4, Graham Firman 5, George Whiteside 6, Ken Darvill 7, Charles Botting 8, Robert Newton (C) 9

Central Bucks

Central Bucks Band

James Haseldine – Tenor, Alan Frost – Treble, Julie Haseldine 2, Ann Pratt 3, Caroline Stonham 4, Marika Haseldine 5, Hal Drysdale 6, Chris Mundy 7, Jeremy Pratt 8, Andrew Haseldine (C) 9.

Sonning Deanery

Sonning Deanery Band

Stephen R Smith – Tenor, John Manley (C) – Treble , Graham Slade 2, Simon Farrar 3, Geoffrey Cook 4, Chris Cole 5, Nigel Mellor 6, Ken Davenport 7, Jon Tutcher 8, John Harrison 9.


Reading Band

Prof. Stephen R Smith – Tenor, June Saint – Treble, June Wells 2, Jo Druce 3, Ian Judd 4, Robert Partridge 5, Giles Winter 6, Doug Beaumont 7, John Wells 8, Stephen Rossiter (C) 9.


Newbury Band

Andrew Clark-Maxwell – Tenor, Rosemary Evans – Treble, Angela Brown 2, Bill Butler 3, Ros Durham 4, Adrian Moon 5, John Durham 6, Michael Hurst (C) 7, Martin Rice 8, Mark Robins 9.


Banbury Band

John Temple – Tenor, Heather Bletchly – Treble, Colin Lee (C) 2, Charlotte Holmes 3, Keith Abbott 4, Alan Griffin 6, Robin Green 5, Malcolm Hensher 7, Chris Holmes 8, Graham Clifton 9.

The last photo is of Robert Newton, Guild Master and conductor of the E.B.S.B. team, receiving the 10-bell trophy, donated by the late Ted Peett, from Paul Flavell.

Cup Presentation to winning band

Bobbie May

ODG 6 Bell Contest 2011

The annual Guild 6 bell striking competition was this year hosted by the Reading Branch and the recently refurbished bells at Streatley were chosen to test the skill of the teams taking part.

The day and the venue were perfect for an afternoon of sitting in the sunshine and enjoying some of the best 6 bell ringing the Guild can produce, as 9 teams, each representing their Branch tried hard to impress the Judges.

Richard and Claire Yates from Towcester, had agreed, to be our judges and were able to sit in the dappled shade of a tree to listen to the teams ringing a test piece of 1 minutes rounds followed by 240 changes of their choice. In practice all the teams except 1 chose Grandsire Doubles as the method, most relying on 2 extends, but 1 team rang Morris's 240, which made listening more interesting.

An excellent tea of sandwiches, cakes other savoury delights accompanied by excellent freshly brewed tea was provided throughout the afternoon by the Goring and Streatley ringers.

Announcing the results Richard thanked the Guild for asking them to Judge the contest and reflected on his early ringing career in the Buckingham area. He went on to commented that with such a high standard of ringing as the competition demonstrated, the Guild was clearly in good shape. The ringing had generally been to a very high standard and was a great credit to all who had taken part. He was pleased to hear bands making full and effective use of the practice time by getting into changes and testing the odd struckness of the bells in changes not just in rounds. He proceeded to give his comments and score for each team in the order in whih they rang.

Position Band Peal Speed Comments Faults
1st Reading St Mary 2h32 Practice was not good - ringing too fast. Test piece slightly steadier, band used to ringing fast? Very few faults in initial rounds. Very good ringing throughout. 13
2nd Thatcham 2h34 Polished piece of ringing with a strong rhythm. Long spells with no faults. Rang more rounds than required. 15
3rd equal High Wycombe 3h01 Test piece improve as it progressed and settled. The opening rounds were very accurate and established a good rhythm. A few minor method errors collected faults. 19
3rd equal Wantage 2h56 Measured and steady piece of ringing. Much clean ringing until the last 60 changes when odd clips and hesitations crept in and picked up faults. 19
5th Sonning 3h00 Good ringing and a good rhythm. The ringing improved as it progressed. Faults were in the initial rounds and in the last 120 changes. 23
6th equal Drayton St. Leonard 3h02 Confident ringing with good rhythm. The first 30 changes contained the majority of the faults. 29
6th equal Farringdon 2h51 Measured ringing which improved as it progressed. The first half contained more faults than the 2nd half. Occasional lateness of the tenor upset the rhythm 29
8th Woodstock 3h11 Sedate pace with a good rhythm. Inaccuracies in the treble moving to 2nds place picked up faults 43
9th Aston Clinton 2h42 The unfortunate mistake when moving from rounds to changes took a long time to recover. The ringing did not completely settle down after this trip. 51

So the 6 Bell trophy returns to Reading.

Stephen Rossiter collected the Cup From Richard Yates and congratulations were given to Thatcham, High Wycombe and Wantage in coming 2nd and 3rd equal respectively.

Alan Marchbank, Deputy Master thanked Richard and Claire for playing their part diligently and providing good encouraging feedback. He also thanked the catering team who had provided the teas and all the towers for entering and making it a very enjoyable afternoon.

Alan Marchbank

Reading St. Mary Band
St. Marys Reading Band, Winners
Thatcham Band
Thatcham Band, placed 2nd
High Wycombe Band
High Wycombe Band, placed 3rd equal
Wantage Band
Wantage Band, placed 3rd equal
Sonning Band
Sonning Band
Drayton Band
Drayton St. Leonard Band
Farringdon Band
Woodstock Band
Woodstock Band
Aston Clinton Band
Aston Clinton Band
Presentation of Trophy
Presentation of Trophy
8-BELL Striking Competition 2011

The Old North Berks Branch hosted this years 8 bell striking competition. With no heats to ring, we moved straight to a final which was rung at the delightful 12 cwt ground floor 8 of St Marys, Childrey. One of the 6 churches in the Ridgeway Benefice, St Mary’s boasts many treasures, not least of which are stunning views to the north and west across the Oxfordshire countryside. Blue sky and constant sunshine combined to make this a brilliant day for standing around listening to good ringing.

A straightforward touch of Grandsire Triples was chosen and 8 tower and branch teams did battle. They were joined this year by our Youth Team – the Band who represented the Guild in the Ringing World National Youth Competition in Pimlico and who were placed 1st in the change ringing section of that competition.

It was good to see many familiar faces and renew acquaintances. It was also encouraging to have a few new entries and to see new people getting involved with Guild events. It is especially encouraging to have had entries from Caversham and a Branch band from Witney and Woodstock.

Tea and refreshments were provided throughout the afternoon by the Childrey ringers. Expertly organised, a proper ringer’s tea of sandwiches, cakes and freshly brewed tea was enjoyed and appreciated by all who partook. Well done.

Our Judge Hugh Evans, Chairman of the Gloucester and Bristol DA was settled in the fine gardens of the Manor House just across from the church and listened to the teams ringing a test piece of 1 minute of rounds followed by 233 Grandsire Triples. The ringing concluded, we moved into the village hall for the results.

Team Comments Faults Position
Witney and Woodstock Branch Settled ringing with minor trips throughout. Ringing improved in the 2nd half. 69 6
South Oxon Branch Nice even rhythm with a few trips, 2nd half better than the first. 56 3
High Wycombe Tower Good rounds to start with, confident ringing. 6 leads in the middle of the test piece without mistakes. 18 2
Sonning Deanery Branch 1 bell often late at backstroke in the rounds. Steady pace throughout. Ringing improved in the last third of the test piece. 63 4
Reading Branch No faults in the rounds. Few faults in the changes, a slight trip quickly recovered. A very good piece of ringing. 6 1
Newbury Branch Steady rounds, minor method errors in the changes took time to recover, Ringing improved towards the end. 73 7
North Bucks Branch Very good rounds. Changes not quite so good. Method error at 3rd lead very quickly corrected. Some nice ringing. 66 5
Caversham Tower Rounds were good but the changes never quite settled into a consistent rhythm. Good effort. 77 8
ODG Youth Band Good effort with slight trips throughout. A method mistake quickly corrected. 79 9

So it is that the Trophy returns to the Reading Branch, well done to Stephen and his team.

Congratulations also to High Wycombe and to South Oxon, placed second and third respectively.

Alan Marchbank proposed the vote of thanks to all those who had made the event a success by taking part, to our Hosts especially Gill and Richard Loyd for making the arrangements for today, to the incumbent Rev Alan Wadge for the use of the bells and to Hugh our Judge. The company showed its appreciation in hearty applause.

ODG Youth Band
ODG Youth Band
Reading Branch Band
Reading Branch Band, Winners
High Wycombe Band
High Wycombe Band, placed 2nd
South Oxon Band
South Oxon Band, placed 3rd
Witney and Woodstock Band
Witney and Woodstock Band
Caversham Tower Band
Caversham Tower Band
North Bucks Branch Band
North Bucks Branch Band
Newbury Branch Band
Newbury Branch Band
Sonning Deanery Band
Sonning Deanery Band

~ Alan Marchbank


ODG 6 Bell striking competition results for 2010

Headline news for the striking Competition held on Saturday 2nd of October at Cowley:
1st Drayton St Leonard representing South Oxon, score, 90%
2nd Shrivenham representing Vale of White Horse , score, 86%
3rd St Aldates representing Oxford City, score, 83%
4th High Wycombe representing East Berks and South Bucks, score, 81%
5th Reading St Mary representing Reading Branch, score, 80%
6th Wokingham representing Sonning Deanery Branch, score, 78%
7th Blewbury representing Old North Berks Branch, score, 76%
8th Gt. Linford Representing North Bucks Branch, score, 59%
9th= Wing representing Central Bucks Branch and Wooton representing Witney and Woodstock Branch, both who failed to complete the test piece.

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ODG 8 Bell striking competition results for 2010

Bank Holiday Monday 3rd May was thankfully bright and dry - even if the wind was a bit blustery and chilly, it afforded good conditions for standing outside the ancient and picturesque Church of St Mary, Wendover, to listen to the 7 teams that battled over the 8 bell trophy.

The bells were just right - easy going and not difficult to hear, but just tricky enough to strike to keep the ringers full attention. They have recently been augmented from 6 to 8 by the addition of trebles and the ringing room moved down the tower to a balcony in the upper half of the tower arch. Whites are to be congratulated on delivering another quality augmentation and re-hang.

The competition was organised and hosted by the Chiltern Branch and as we had 7 entries, a single "final" was judged by Robin and Jill Leale from Kingston upon Thames. Delicious sandwiches, cakes and mugs of tea were provided to a continuous stream of ringers, throughout the contest, by a team of ladies and served from tables at the chancel steps. It was somewhat daunting to be on the ringers gallery ready to perform and realise that there was an "audience" looking up from the tea tables, mugs and plates in pressure at all really!!

The ringing was of a high standard throughout the contest, with probably only 1 method mistake being made throughout the entire contest.

In presenting the results Robin and Jill commented that:

Ringing was of a good standard throughout and it is impressive that there were 7 entries ringing to this standard and other than for 1 team there were no method mistakes.

Generally the ringing was thought to be a bit slow for the bells, most of the teams were ringing at an equivalent peal speed of 3hrs 12. Only Team 6 pushed the bells along somewhat more.

They provided constructive feedback on each team's performance in the order in which they rang as follows

Team Judges Comments Faults Awarded Position
Reading Branch Ringing at a steady pace, but rhythm inconsistent due to slightly erratic leading 50 5
Banbury Branch Steady ringing which improved throughout the piece. Leading was a bit erratic and generated 2 or 3 minor errors 52 6
South Oxon Branch This team took longer to settle down. There were no errors but there were some slow leads which upset the rows that followed 62 7
High Wycombe Good strong rhythm from the start, 1 minor trip in the last lead, only minor striking errors. Very good ringing 25 1
St Mary with St Laurence Reading Another good piece of ringing. Consistent beat, no errors and only minor irregularities. 27 2
North Bucks Branch Quickest ringing of the contest. Took time to settle down and ring top same speed. No method mistakes, good steady ringing 45 4
EBSB Branch Noticeably slower after team 6, steady error free ringing, took a little while to settle. No method mistakes 40 3

Congratulation to High Wycombe, who just "pipped" Reading to first place.

Pat Newton representing the High Wycombe Band was presented with the Trophy by the Judges.

Our thanks go to Barry Cowper for making the necessary arrangements for the contest, Stuart Lawrence and Ruth Grove who were our Marshalls and also to the providers of the tea, Liza Hutchins, Elizabeth Sorrell and Jean Weston.

I very much look forward to seeing you all at the 6 bell contest in Oxford Branch in October. I would like to see a band from each Branch - let's have some heats to manage!!

Alan Marchbank

High Wycombe The winners - High Wycombe
Second, St Mary with St Laurence Reading St Mary with St Laurence Reading
EBSB Branch 3rd - EBSB Branch Band. There are only 7 in the photo. No-one rang 2, but 1 of the band could wait no longer and had gone to find refreshment elsewhere!
North Bucks Branch 4th - North Bucks Branch.
5th - Reading Branch Band Reading Branch
Banbury Branch 6th - Banbury Branch Band
Sth Oxon Branch 7th - Sth Oxon Branch Band

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ODG 6 Bell striking competition results for 2008.

Saturday October 4th at All Saints, Milton Keynes

A good afternoon was spent with 9 bands competing for the ODG 6 bell trophy at All Saints Milton Keynes Village. The church with its ground floor ringing room afforded excellent facilities for the judges to sit in the north vestry just alongside the tower, which was so much better for them than huddling in a car in failing daylight and deteriorating weather.

Richard and Helen Stanworth were the stewards, checking bands in, collecting information and assisting with timings of practices and rounds etc.

During the early part of the competition there was almost a crisis when the Churchwarden (who was unaware of the competition), brought a party of people in for a look around the church!  They were somewhat miffed to be asked to keep very quiet and hastily guided away from the chancel and out of the south door!

The bells were certainly enough of a challenge to make this an interesting competition. Alan Shephard from Dunstable, the chief judge said the bells sorted the competitors into 2 distinct groups, the top 3 and the following 6. Liz Middleton from Radbourne assisted Alan in the task of judging the 9 teams.

Tine Marchbank and her hospitality team comprising ringers, past ringers and non-ringers provided an abundance of tea which was consumed throughout the afternoon in the warmth and comfort of the Village Hall just opposite the church.

From the results you will see that Reading were victorious and the Judges presented Stephen Rossiter with the Trophy.

I would like to thank all the ringers who took part in the competition, our judges Alan and Liz, Richard and Helen Stanworth, the Incumbent and ringers at Milton Keynes Village and Tine and her band of helpers.

You all contributed to make this my first ODG organisation a success.

Alan Marchbank


ReadingSt Mary and St Laurence8141
Vale of WHShrivenham718.52
EBSBHigh Wycombe2233
ChilternAston Clinton5694
Sonning DeanerySonning1765
North BucksHanslope4896
Oxford CityKidlington61877
South OxfordshireSt Mary Chalgrove32159

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8 Bell Striking Competition, Monday 5th May 2008 - at St Michaels, Tilehurst

After a very energetic afternoon ringing the results are in......

Old North Berks had to withdraw at short notice so seven teams took part.

The competition was judged this year by Ian Fielding and Cath Merlane.

Whilst Double Norwich was not everyones cup of tea, on the whole the ringing from all teams was pretty good. However the judges took some time deliberating their decision and gave their comments on each bands performance.

The results were;

1st32.5St Mary and St Laurence Reading
2nd36.75Reading Branch Team
3rd38.75High Wycombe
4th42.00East Berks and South Bucks Branch
5th44.00Newbury Branch
7thDNFOxford City
The winning team, St Mary and St Laurence Reading
Steve Rossiter receives the Cup from the Judges

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Guild 10 Striking Competition, Saturday 22nd November 2008 at Wallingford

Judges: Mike and Jill Wigney from Chiswick - Method: Grandsire Caters


Draw Order

Branch Team




Central Bucks



















 receiving the 10 bell trophy from

Andrew Haseldine (right) receiving the 10-bell Striking Competition cup on behalf of the victorious Central Bucks Branch team from judge Mike Wigney

Here are the team photos which were taken by Bobbie May. If you click on any picture you will be able to see a larger version within your web browser
Central Bucks 10 bell team
Central Bucks team - Left to right are Kaye Mundy, Marika Haseldine, Julie Haseldine, Anne Pratt, Jeremy Pratt, Alan Frost, James Haseldine, Ed Houghton, Chris Mundy, Andrew Haseldine
Reading Branch 10 bell team
Reading team - Left to right are Jim Disrens, Nigel Herriott, Doug Beaumont, June Wells, John Wells, Helen Disrens, Alex Byrne, Jenny Herriott, Steve Rossiter, John Manley
EBSB 10 bell team
EBSB team - Left to right are Patricia Newton, George Whiteside, Graham Firman, Ann Davies, Peter Mackie, Sheila Bruce, Charles Botting, Katherine Firman, Robert Newton, Cliff Davies
ONB 10 bell team
ONB team - Left to right are Keith Anderson, Brian Read, Nick Clarke, Josie Irving, Tim Pett, Stuart Gibson, Lee Pinnington, Gill Loyd, Richard Loyd, John Napper
VOWH 10 bell team
VOWH team - Left to right are Julian Watson, Cheryl Watson, Lucy Laird, Hugh Baxter, Tony Crabtree, Kay Chamberlain, Paul Coad, Darran Ricks, Jon Chamberlain, Erica Crabtree

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Guild 10 Striking Competition, Saturday 24th November 2007 at Aston Clinton, Bucks

Judges: Stephen Stanford and Sarah-Louise Ward



Branch Team

Marks (%)







Old North Berks








Vale of White Horse




East Berks & South Bucks



John Davidge receiving the 10 bell trophy

John Davidge (right) receiving the 10-bell Striking Competition cup on behalf of the victorious East Berks & South Bucks Branch team from chief judge Stephen Stanford

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Guild 10-bell Striking Competition, Saturday, November 25th 2006 at Banbury

This year’s competition was judged by Peter Tombs of the Swindon branch of the Gloucester & Bristol Diocesan Association and Michael Dew From the Coventry D G. They were introduced to the ringers by Robert Newton, Deputy Master, who thanked Barry Davis and the Banbury ringers for the arrangements and anticipated a delicious tea.

Six teams took part in the competition on the fine 10 at Banbury.

Mike Dew had looked up some statistics on previous peals on the bells at Banbury and estimated a working average for the speed of the bells. The judges commented on the teams in the order in which they had rung:

North Bucks. They found the ringing a little slow with faults in the rounds and inconsistencies in the changes. Peal speed 3 hrs 33.

Vale of the White Horse. The ringing settled down well and got even better as they went along. Peal speed 3 hrs 12.

EBSB. The rounds were good and the opening changes, very good. Technically the whole piece was very good. Peal speed 3 hrs 07.

Old North Berks. The rounds were good but the changes and the leading inconsistent. There were also gaps in the middle. Peal speed 3 hrs 07.

Reading. The opening rounds were excellent as were most of the changes. The faults, such as they were, came in clusters. Peal speed 3 hrs 07.

Banbury. This team rang far too quickly. The opening rounds had faults. They would have done better if they had taken the piece more slowly. Peal speed 2 hrs 49.

The judges declared that it had been a good morning’s work and the ringing had been of a high standard.


Branch Team












Old North Berks






North Bucks



June Wells receiving the 10 bell trophy

June Wells, Reading Branch Ringing Master, receiving the trophy from the judges, Barry Davis and Mike Dew.

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