On Sat 20th May, ringers representing six towers met up at St Mary Cray to take part in the annual Lewisham District call change and striking competitions. Adam Rebick from Southwark came along to judge the competitions. The day started with 5 teams ringing 120 changes of call changes and then 4 teams rang 240 changes of a method in the Striking competition. When all had successfully completed this it was time for the judge to give his comments and the results.
Adam said it had been a lovely afternoon and had been a pleasure to be there. He had a ring beforehand on the tenor which maybe wasn’t the most representative bell to ring as it stayed at the back all day. He was very impressed with the overall standard of all the bands throughout the day. He’d been involved in competitions where bands had fired out the touch and he’d been in bands that had fired out touches!
He then started with comments about the call change competition:
Band A – Eltham 4:08 (for 120 changes or 2:53:36 peal speed)
A bit of a shaky start and seeming a little bit unsettled, it gradually settled into a more stable rhythm and produced better ringing later on especially in the more familiar changes.
Band B – Chelsfield/Farnborough 4:07 (2:52:54)
Rang really nicely at the start. Seemed to find some of the calls unsettling and needed to search for a new rhythm each time. Remember to focus on listening to the the bells as well as looking at the ropesight when in the more unfamiliar changes. However when you reached the titums towards the end the quality much improved.
Band C – Greenwich 4:02 (2:49:24)
Good piece of ringing which band should have been really pleased with. Largely transitioned quite smoothly between changes and the conductor was savvy to move on from any changes that didn’t quickly settle. Did wonder how much ringing they’d done over coronation weekend as the change that struggled with most was Kings!
Band D – Crayford ‘D’ 4:14 (2:57:48)
Started promisingly with very few clips in first few minutes. Main issue was that front half of the change wanted to ring a bit quicker than the heavier bells which were more spaced out in the second half of the change. This initially only earned a few minor faults for overall rhythm but became a bigger problem as the touch progressed. There was a sustained period of clips through the later part but recovered nicely towards the end.
Band E – Crayford ‘R’ 4:00 (2:48:00)
Quickest of the bands. Really strong piece of ringing. Like band C, the transitions between changes was largely smooth. Only one slight wobble 3/4 of way through but recovered really well. Rest of touch seemed comfortable. Rang quickly but with good control. Particularly impressed how clean the good ringing was. The good ringing was very, very good. Few minor faults for blemishes in the ringing but would be very pleased to hear this ringing after a wedding.
As a general point throughout the day, the bands which rang a bit faster tended to fair a bit better.
He then announced the result in the traditional reverse order to give:
1. E – Crayford ‘R’ 26.00
2. C – Greenwich 26.75
3. A – Eltham 35.00
4. B – Chelsfield 41.75
5. D – Crayford ‘D’ 52.25
So a very tight results with Crayford ‘R’ just coming out on top. After presenting the trophy, Adam moved on to the striking competition.
He reiterated that he always struggles with these things because his job is to mark the things that don’t happen well and comment on those but he was immensely impressed with the overall standard of everybody’s ringing today.
Band A – Eltham, Plain Bob Doubles, 7:45 (2:42:45 peal speed)
A really good piece of ringing that set the standard for the method comp. There were slight rhythmic inaccuracies which were recovered quickly. No audible method mistakes. Sounded surprised to be asked to ring a second extent and slightly hesitant after the rounds. A really solid performance overall.
Band B – Crayford, Plain Bob Doubles, 7:50 (2:44:30)
One of the most consistent bands of the day which made it difficult to judge fairly. No method errors and very few serious striking errors. Took a while to find the rhyme. Best ringing in second extent. Didn’t quite achieve perfectly even ringing for a sustained period of time which is something to improve on. Overall good piece of ringing.
Band C – Chelsfield, Plain Bon Doubles, 8:00 (2:48:00)
Quite similar feedback. Really hit stride in second extent and produced some of best ringing of the day. Took time to settle in first extent with less consistent rhyme. Again really impressed with the quality.
Band D – St Mary Cray, Grandsire Doubles 8:00 (2:48:00)
The only band to ring Grandsire. Overall some really good ringing. The best was when concentrating extra hard after the little crunch just towards end of the first extent. Recovered nicely from that.
Again the results were given in reverse order to give:
1. A – Eltham 38.25
2. C – Chelsfield 39.25
3. D – St Mary Cray 43.25
4. B – Crayford 76.75
So again a very close result with Eltham just taking it and going forward to the County competition later in the year.
Thanks to St Mary Cray for hosting and to all the bands that took part.