Congratulations to the Aylesbeare 8 bell Striking Competition band on coming 2nd yesterday. Four years ago we crashed around in Plain Bob Major and just made it through the test peice, two years ago we couldn't muster a "major" band.

Since January 2017 we have had a fairly stable band of 7or 8 of us that have been out attempting quarter peals on 8, starting with Grandsire Triples, Plain Bob Major then Stedman Triples. Not having an experienced conductor we weren't always successful but we got there in the end and everyone had to be on their A game to get through. We deviated briefly and rang Cambridge Minor for 2 of the band who hadn't rung suprise before.

In February I suggested ringing Yorkshire Surprise Major (I thought it was the striking competiton method!) so we set about it. Success was achieved but it was with a lot of help/conducting/shouting. We tried again and although the quarter was unsuccessful it was, in the main, a much more solid effort.

On this basis I broke it to the band that the competition method was actually Lincolnshire. We decided to go for it but rather than go for a quarter we concentrated on the plain course, ringing a specific bell so we could get used to working with the same bell/ringer at strategic places such as the 5 pull dodge. We had our moments but with help, and more practice, we totally managed to pull it out of the bag when it mattered. 

Particular mention must go to Richard Winnall and Keith Copestake, both of whom had never rung Lincolnshire until a couple of months ago. Many thanks to the rest of the band for their commitment and steady ringing.

I don't think 8 people have ever been happier to come 2nd in anything. We are all still smiling and looking at each other in amazement. I think it will take a while to come down from this high.