Saturday 15 October 2016

'Area 51 come fourth'
Or... The Guild Striking Competition 2016

The morning of 15th October saw teams compete for the inter-tower 6-bell and the 6-bell novice contests at Stoke Canon and Exeter St Mark's respectively. Results shown below. As we can see, only Topsham entered the novice one, which requires Plain Hunt. Feeling guilty myself for not getting my own novices in it, I feel motivated to try harder next year. Let's see what we all can do to make it a more interesting contest!

The afternoon carried on at St Mark's for the inter-branch 8-bell contest, teams ringing Yorkshire Surprise or Little Bob. The rain fell, the judges who stepped in at short notice (Jill and Mike Hansford from Somerset) huddled in a porch to hear, as did anyone wanting to listen to the other teams, and everyone else mingled inside the church. Body and soul was kept together by a splendid assortment of cakes from the local ringers, washed down with endless tea. David Hird tried on a baby blue knitted hat and young Toby walked round with a large silver trophy cup from the morning... they start them very young now? Handbells were brought out to pass the time, but came to an end after a well known handbell ringer found there was too much plain hunt in Plain Bob Royal. Well spotted Tim!

So what about the teams? Six teams entered, one of these being the mysterious 'Area 51'. Did we have aliens in our midst? No, just a mixed branch team, though it was largely from Mid Devon.

The standard was noticeably high this year. "All bands did extremely well" were the opening words of Mike Hansford as he delivered the results he and Jill had arrived at. He went on to say that all the bands had used the practice time well to sort out any problems. Exeter had been "very nice to listen to", Area 51 had "a competent start and a good performance", Aylesbeare had a "slightly hesitant start but then a good rhythm". The North East branch had "difficulties settling down, but recovered well", the North/North West branch had "good clean changes and finished well", and the South West branch "settled into a good rhythm very quickly". The winners? Exeter branch again, "despite the sneeze" we all said, as one ringer had suffered this distracting event during the test piece. The results are always interesting, but in many ways not as important as the fact of 48 plus ringers coming together for the afternoon to enjoy some good ringing and each others' company.

Lynne Hughes
Publicity Officer.


Novice Competition held at Exeter St Mark judged by Charlotte Boyce and Sarah Chadburn

Position Team Faults
1 Topsham A 27
2 Topsham C 29
3 Topsham B no score


Topsham1Small  NoviceWinnersSmall

The 'Topsham A' band and receiving the novice competition trophy: (l-r) Charlotte Boyce, Sarah Chadburn, Matt Pym, Alison Waterson


6 Bell Inter-Tower Competition held at Stoke Canon judged by Nigel Birt and Ian Avery

Position Team Faults
1 Exeter Cathedral 8.75
2 Withycombe Raleigh 11
3 Exeter St Mark 14.5
4 Tavistock 17
5 Exeter St David 63.25


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Stoke Canon church; and the Exeter Cathedral team (clockwise from front right): Paul Pascoe, Andrew Digby, Peter Brown, James Kirkcaldy, Oliver Coldrick, Matthew Hilling


8 Bell Inter-Branch Competition held at Exeter St Mark judged by Mike and Jill Hansford

Position Team Faults
1 Exeter 17
2 Southwest 29
3 North/Northwest 33
4 Area 51 (scratch team) 39
5 Aylesbeare 41
6 Northeast 48


Judges8BellSmall  ExeterBranchTeamSmall

Preparing to deliver the results: Alison Waterson (President), John Martin (Secretary) and the judges Mike & Jill Hansford; and the Exeter Branch team (clockwise from front right): Wendy Campbell, Sue Sawyer, Lynne Hughes, Tim Bayton, James Kirkcaldy, Ian Campbell, Matthew Hilling, David Hird


Morning: (10am-1pm)

Please book your slots by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

6 Bell - Stoke Canon 
Judge: Nigel Birt
240-300 changes of any Doubles or Minor method
Inter-tower competition for the J P Fidler Cup

6 Bell Novice - Exeter St Mark
Judges: Sarah Chadburn and Charlotte Boyce
180 changes of Plain Hunt Doubles or Minor
Inter-tower novice competition for the John Longridge Plate

Afternoon: (2pm draw)
Please inform This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if your branch is entering a team

8 Bell - Exeter St Mark
Judges: Mike and Jill Hansford
224 changes of Yorkshire S Major (plain course) or Little Bob Major (touch below)
Inter-branch competition for the Andrews Trophy


224 Little Bob Major
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