Tilehurst wins striking competition – again!

The 2019 Reading Branch Striking Competition took place at St Mary, Purley-on-Thames (six bells – 8-1-27), on Saturday, 14th September. There were six entries, representing five of Reading Branch’s 23 towers (St Giles-in-Reading entered two teams).
The Tilehurst team came first, beating the St Giles 2 team by two points. Many congratulations to Tilehurst, who also won in 2016, 2017 and 2018!
Caversham came third, beating Pangbourne by one point. St Giles 1 came fifth, three points ahead of Mortimer.

Jo Druce, conductor of the Tilehurst team, was presented with the Topper Trophy by Judge Steve Smith.

It was good to see four young ringers in the competition. Congratulations to Tom Sherwood, who rang the tenor in the winning team, to Jennifer Ellis, who rang for St Giles 2, to Daniel Page, who rang for Caversham, and to Joseph Barrett, who rang for St Giles 1.
St Mary, Purley, was a lovely setting for the competition, and the weather was perfect for sitting in the sunshine, while the church bells rang out. Many thanks to the Purley band, who served morning coffee with a splendid selection of delicious cakes and biscuits.
See below for photos of the six teams, their score, the position in which they rang, and some of the comments by Judge Steve Smith – who was thanked by Branch Chairman Giles Winter. St Giles 1 rang Call Changes, and the other five teams rang doubles.

Tilehurst band
1stwith 16 faults: Tilehurst team: l to r: 1 D Giles Winter, 2 Joanna E Knight, 3 JoanneP Druce (C)–with mascot, 4 Colin R Cairns, 5 Colin G Newman, 6 Thomas R Sherwood. . “Very nice ringing, a few early clips and a crunch around row 36.” They were the first team to ring.
St Giles 2
2ndwith 18 faults: St Giles 2, l to r: 1 Sarah Barrett, 2 Jennifer Ellis, 3 Peter Bennett, 4 Helen Bennett, 5 Steve Bennett(C), 6 Chris Barrett. “First-class ringing from an experienced band. Some general small clips. They rang more slowly than most of the other bands.” Last team to ring.
3rd, with 26 faults: Caversham, l to r: 1 Doug Beaumont, 2 Jenny Page, 3 Gill Hopkinson, 4 Daniel Page, 5 James Champion (C), 6 Roger Hopkinson. “Good ringing with many clean rows. Some clashes around half way”. They were the fourth team to ring.
4th, with 27 faults: Pangbourne, l to r: 1 Susan Norbury, 2 Richard Carpenter, 3 Ann Gardiner, 4 John Harland, 5 Michael Palfrey (C), 6 Leonard Palfrey. “A few nervy clashes at the beginning, then really pulled itself together. Good second half” They were the fifth team to ring.
St Giles 1
5th, with 44 faults: St Giles 1, l to r: 1 Joyce Vernon (C), 2 Toni Smith, 3 Colin Blayney, 4 Joseph Barrett, 5 Keith Vernon, 6 Chris Philips. “Good overall effort although there were quite a few faults.” They were the second team to ring.
6th, with 47 faults: Mortimer, l to r: 1 Jackie McGee, 2 Linda Finney, 3 Elaine Perkins (C), 4 Janet Carless, 5 Peter MacNaughtan, 6 Andrew Slater. “They rang more slowly than any other team, and the slow pace made things harder for them.” They were the third team to ring.