Kent was represented by a team of 6 Young Ringers at this year’s national youth ringing contest (RWNYC) in York on Saturday 8th July 2023.
They enjoyed a wonderful weekend with two main highlights:
1) Ringing on the lovely 12 bells at York Minster; they all had several turns at ringing rounds. Ellen and Callum both rang the tenor very competently and James, Ellen and Callum rang 8, 9, 10 to Plain Hunt Cinques.
2) The team was thrilled to be placed 3rd with a score of 8.5/10. 17 teams took part in the Call Change category. (Full results are on the RWNYC website)
After too many hours travelling north on Friday 7th July our 6 team members and their 6 adult “shepherds” finally arrived at the York North West Premier Inn for a good sleep before meeting up at breakfast the next morning. Our first port of call was a Park and Ride car park for the bus which would take us in to the centre of York in time to board the double-decker coach (which we had all to ourselves) from the Memorial Gardens out to our first tower of the day at Bishopthorpe. We were very pleased with our ringing on this 14cwt ring of 6 and were able to practice the test piece of 180 rows of call changes. We had now relaxed enough into the day to enjoy the journey back into York, complete with the driver below interspersing some ad-hoc singing by advising us of various interesting landmarks. We were happy to find some of the 22 intriguing cats in York on the “cat trail”.
A speedy walk through the ancient streets of the city took us to our next tower, St Lawrence which is home to a 7cwt ring of 8 bells and was the venue for the call change contest. We srt off at a brisk pace and were reasonably pleased with our effort here. Indeed the feedback from the contest judges praised our brisk speed, the fastest ringing of the day, and congratulated the consistency of our treble and tenor ringers. After the obligatory team photo we had time to eat our sandwich lunch in the grounds of St Lawrence. This enabled us to hear the good striking of the next team, and to be just a little pleased when they also had a little “crunch”. This team ended up being placed first in our category and we were pretty pleased to be awarded 3rd place.
We retraced our steps through the city to the Oratory. Due to its close proximity to the Minster, ringing on the 10 here was actually on the simulator, ably managed by our good KYR friend and previous team captain, Jamie Austin. The pressure of the contest was now behind us, so we really enjoyed the rest of the day’s ringing.
The Spurriergate Centre, set out as a relaxing café venue, was our next port of call where we enjoyed ringing a variety of methods to involve our helpers including Cambridge S Minor.
Following this we had 45 minutes to explore the Mini-rings and stalls on offer inside York Minster before gathering to climb the very clean concrete spiral staircase to the Ringing Room. Here we joined forces with two other teams to ring Rounds, Call Changes and some very satisfying Plain Hunt Cinques on these beautiful bells under the expert guidancecof Simon Linford. Ellen (of course!) and Callum rang the tenor really very well and Lottie (aged 10) took a turn at strapping the tenor with our very own Association Chair, Neil.
We had a little time on our hands either side of our final tower of the day, St Martin le Grand, which we filled with quick browse around a couple of shops or rested our legs in a coffee shop or just were amazed at the number of (very obvious) hen parties parading around the streets!
We shared our time at St Martin’s with the Sussex Young Ringers, but our youngsters’ enthusiasm for ringing was beginning to wane a little now due to fatigue and the extreme muggings of the day.
Finally it was time for all 25 teams to gather in the Central Methodist Church for the all-important thanks, results and presentations. There was a truly wonderful and generous atmosphere here as the teams received their results and medals and David Hull was thanked for his work over the last five years.
We rounded off the day by partaking of pizza in the Minster, (the first time ever for pizza in the Munster!) and participating in the games organised by the YCRA and then made our way south to Doncaster for our second hotel night.
Sunday morning brought the opportunity to ring at Bentley, Sprotbrough and Doncaster Minster before a final coffee in the Wool Market and our journey home.
We are indebted to David Hull, Will Bosworth and the other members of the organising committee for arranging another FABULOUS weekend and are hugely grateful to the KCACR for their financial support in enabling us to attend.
Very many thanks.
Jennifer Thomas 21st July 2023