Striking Competition Trophy
Call Change Competition Trophy

Despite the forecast of rain, five bands arrived at Tonbridge on 5 July for the County 8-Bell Striking Competiton 2014 — Ashford District unfortunately not being able to make it this year. For the first time (in a while at least) the competition was scheduled for the morning so as to prevent clashes with weddings and other afternoon events, and actually I think this worked very well.

The judges, Stephen Coaker and Phil Barnes, both of ASCY fame(!) were strategically placed in Tiffy’s car in the church car park having decided that the weather didn’t fare well enough for them to sit outside. As it happened, the rain never came.

The first band to ring was the Maidstone District, starting at just after 10am. All throughout the ringing tea, coffee and a grand selection of biscuits and cakes were being served by the Tonbridge Catering Committee. By the time all the bands had rung, it was about 11.30am with the Lewisham District rounding off the day.

It took the judges about 30 minutes to finalise the results. County Chairman Mike Little kicked off proceedings by thanking the ringers and helpers at Tonbridge both for hosting the event and for the wonderful refreshments. He then welcomed the judges and handed over to them to deliver the results as shown below:

Band 1 (Time: 8m 25s) – Plenty of rounds to begin with, and very good ringing considering they were the first band of the day. Consistently good with the odd clip and gap.

Band 2 (7m 42s) – Quite fast, felt rushed and inconsistent as a result. Big method mistake caused problems and never really recovered.

Band 3 (7m 59s)- Consistent mistakes throughout with clips, gaps etc. A method mistake was well recovered from.

Band 4 (8m 00s) – Tenor was slightly slow and some method mistakes in the first part. Inconsistencies meant the faults racked up.

Band 5 (7m 41s) – Plenty of rounds at the beginning which allowed them to settle. Overall a very good standard of ringing throughout.

Doug Davis (from KCACR website)

Position

Rang

District

Peal Speed

Faults

1st

5th

Lewisham

2h 59m

46

2nd

1st

Maidstone

3h 16m

50

3rd

3rd

Canterbury

3h 06m

75

4th

4th

Rochester

3h 07m

76

5th

2nd

Tonbridge

3h 00m

120

6th

Ashford

.

DNS

So we increased our winning streak to 4 after successfully defending the trophy for a third time.

Winning Test Piece

Eynsford were the hosts for the 2014 striking competition. A bright sunny day greeted the teams although the recent rains could all too easily be seen in the height of the river at the ford. Hopefully last years two teams was a blip as 5 towers had managed to get a band together this year.

Chelsfield were having their new vicar inducted later in the afternoon so the draw was fixed so they rang first. All the bands completed their test pieces with a generally high standard of ringing. Ben Kipling and Chris Rimmer had come to judge and they came up with the following comments and result.

Band 1 (Peal speed: 2hr 49m) – Good consistent piece of ringing.

Band 2 (2hr 50m) – A few trips and seemed to be a nervous piece of ringing. Treble and tenor held it together well.

Band 3 (2hr 44m) – Bit faster but not rushed. Nice ringing.

Band 4 (2hr 49m) – Had a tendency to cartwheel so needed some more consistent leading.

Band 5 (3hr 02m) – Nice consistent ringing and were starting to quicken by the end. Minor smash in the third lead which was recovered well from.

Position

Rang

Tower

Faults

1st

1st

Chelsfield

12¼

2nd

3rd

Beckenham

13¼

3rd

5th

Crayford

26¼

4th

4th

Eltham & Chislehurst

29

5th

2nd

Erith, CC

50

So Chelsfield narrowly retained the trophy and they now go on to represent Lewisham district in the county competition in September. Thanks to Ben and Chris for coming out to judge it and to Eynsford for hosting.

The district held the first competition on its newest bells on 16th November with the Call Change Competition being contested at Farnborough.

A disappointingly low 4 teams managed to get bands together for the competition on what are very easy going bells. Having been let down at the last minute, and with Eltham not entering a band, Ian and Diane stepped into the breach and judged the competition. Once they had placed themselves in the churchyard, the draw was made and the competition commenced. All the bands preformed well and successfully rang 120 rows with at least 10 call changes.

After a brief interlude, Ian and Diane, came back with some comments and results:

All teams did very well, rang the right number of changes (well done Lesley!) and made full use of their practice time.

Team 1: Generally good rhyme. Faults mainly where little bells didn’t leave big enough gaps over the larger ones.

Team 2: Had good start slightly faster than team 1 which unfortunately did not maintain maybe due to nerves but did pick up again towards the end.

Team 3: Generally good. Tendency to squeeze in the gaps. Overall very nice to listen to.

Team 4: Consistence ringing that improved towards the middle. Treble lead well throughout.

Position

Team

Tower

Faults

1st

3

Crayford & Dartford

18

2nd

2

Erith, Christ Church

27

3rd

1

Chelsfield

30

4th

4

Farnborough

42

So the Crayford & Dartford band retained The Arthur Richards Trophy. Thanks to Farnborough for hosting and supplying tea. Hopefully a few more teams can be persuaded to enter next year.

A lovely sunny day welcomed all 6 Districts for a change to take part in this years County 8 bell competition on 29th June at Cliffe in the Rochester District. As well as the weather the Cliffe ringers provided a lovely spread of tea. Richard Carter and Jon Spreadbury from Norwich had come to judge and once they had found a comfortable spot in the churchyard, Ashford kicked off the competition. A couple of hours later Maidstone were the final team to successfully complete the 240 Plain Bob Major test piece.

After a brief deliberation the judges were ready. A guided tour had taken over the church so everyone sat back out in the sun for the results. The County Chairman, Mike Little, introduced Richard and Jon. Jon started with the comments:

All the teams rang very well so it was hard to separate some of the teams. Some of the following comments are possibly a bit on the hard side.

Band 1 – Peal speed 3h 01. Slightly choppy start but settled down well. Front bells especially good. Generally the compass of the ringing was good. Even when faults, the change stayed the right length. Most faults were in the middle of the change.

Band 2 – 2h 58. The word that came to mind was purposeful. Rang well. The changes flowed nicely from one change to the next. No particular pattern to any errors.

Band 3 – 3h 19. Slightly hesitant start. The tenor tried to set a speed but the others didn’t want to play. Faults were primarily around the lead end. Treble leading good. Took a long time to settle, second half much better.

Band 4 – 3h 02. Slightly inconsistent and again took a long time to agreed a speed and second half much better once the speed had been agreed. No great pattern to the faults.

Band 5 – 3h 03. Faults primarily were coming away from the lead. Most faults from hesitation rather than clipping. Again settle in the second part.

Band 6 – 3h 04. Started well but bells leaving lead incurred faults. Back bells kept good pace but didn’t have support from the little bells.

Richard then announced the result;

Position

Rang

District

Peal Speed

Faults

1st

2nd

Lewisham

2h 58

22

2nd

4th

Canterbury

3h 02

42

3rd

1st

Ashford

3h 01

44

4th

5th

Tonbridge

3h 03

70

5th

6th

Maidstone

3h 04

71

6th

3rd

Rochester

3h 19

74

So we increased our winning streak to 3 after successfully defending the trophy for a second time.

Winning Test Piece

The 2013 striking competition was held at Chelsfield. Home advantage is often important but in this case Chelsfield really didn’t need any extra help as only one other tower managed to get a band together. 5 other people were not ringing for either team and along with Karen who ‘won’ the draw to be the twice ringing sixth ringer they made up a scratch band. Peter Harrison from Kensington had come along to judge and once he was ensconced beneath the tower the competition began.<\br>
All three teams completed a test piece with varying degrees of excitement. After a short deliberation Peter gave the following comments and result.

Band 1 (12m 40s) – Tenor was slow covering and treble turned away from the front too quickly. Recovered well from a bad start. Some parts very good in the second part.

Band 2 (8m 15s) – Rang the least opening rounds. Tenor slow at back throughout. Back bells slowing up in change.

Band 3 (8m 55s) – Rows quite good when clean. Leading was slow which caused the tenor to crunch on the row because of this. When trip free very good. Recovered quickly from crunches.

Position

Rang

Tower

Faults

1st

2nd

Chelsfield

22

2nd

3rd

Crayford

66

3rd

1st

Scratch

86

Congratulations to Chelsfield for retaining the trophy and they now go on to represent Lewisham district in the county competition in September. It may not have been his most difficult decision ever but thanks to Peter for coming out to judge it and to Chelsfield for hosting and providing the tea and cakes. Let’s hope that next year more towers will be able to enter a band.

On Saturday 17th November, 5 bands gathered at Horton Kirby for the annual Call Change Competition. It was especially good this year to see the 2 newest bands in the district, Farnborough and Lewisham, taking part. Ben Meyer and Rosemary Hill from the University of London had agreed to come along and judge. Once they’d had a ring and found a place to listen, the draw was made, tweaked a bit and then the competition began.

All the bands completed their practice and test pieces and then it was over to Ben and Rosemary to give their comments and the results. Ben started by saying that it was good to be able to ‘grab’ a new county as a judge. He felt that some of the bands may have struggled because the bells would have been lighter than they were probably used too but all of the bands had a nice beat to them which he’d have felt comfortable ringing a quarter to. He also thought it was great for learners to enter striking competitions because it’s one of the things that experienced ringers dread so it was good to get used to it.

Team 1: They thought that the practice struggled to settle but that the team talk must have worked as the test piece was much improved. It was rung at a nice speed for the bells. Some issues with striking around half way though and a crunchy finish but overall it was nice piece of ringing.

Team 2: This team rang faster than team 1 and the speed also fluctuated so not a constant beat. Once again the test piece was better than the practice so the team talks were definitely working.

Team 3: They settled quicker and seemed more comfortable with the bells. There were some minor hesitations and some bells seemed to be pushing it on a bit.

Team 4: This was the best pull off and opening rounds to the day. A nice piece of confident ringing which they enjoyed listening to. The slight niggle was that there were fluctuations of speed which not everyone adapted to quickly.

Team 5: This was the only team not to ring call changes in the practice. As with many other teams they had trouble settling down but they recovered well from clashes.

Position

Team

Tower

Faults

1st

4

Crayford

10

2nd

3

Erith, Christ Church

21

3rd

1

Chelsfield

30

4th

2

Farnborough

52

5th

5

Lewisham

67

Congratulations to the Crayford / Dartford band for winning the call change competition but it was realy good to see how well the bands from Farnborough and Lewisham did and especially from Lewisham where for half their band it was the first time that they had rung outside their home tower. Thanks again to Ben and Rosemary for giving up their time to come and judge it and for the Horton Kirby ringers for providing the refreshments and venue.

The County 8 bell competition took place this year on 30th June at Marden in the Maidstone District. A lovely sunny day welcomed the 5 Districts taking part with only Rochester missing. After some discussion over what the rules should be, the competition got under way while the Marden ringers laid on a good spread in the church hall from which you could still clearly hear the bells. Once all the teams had completed the test piece of 210 Single Oxford Bob Triples everyone converged on the hall for the results.

The County Chairman, Mike Little, thanked the Marden ringers for being such good hosts and introduced Richard Smith from Cambridge as the judge. Richard thought that the ringing had been of a generally high standard on surprisingly good sounding bells. He’d got completely the wrong impression from looking them up on Dove! He’s now listened to more Single Oxford than he probably has in his life. He wasn’t even sure if he’d even rung the method before! The touch was straight forward but had plenty of big bell music. He then made comments about each band:

Band 1 – Peal speed 2h 55. Made a pleasant start to the day. The leading picked up most of the faults but relatively minor. Had a good rhythm with the tenor particular good.

Band 2 – 2h 49. Rang faster and consequently felt a bit breathless. Improved as went along but bit quick for a competition but would probably have turned into a god peal.

Band 3 – 3h 04. Slowest ringing of the day.Good if deliberate piece of ringing. Pleasant but never developed into the perfect bit of ringing they were aiming for..

Band 4 – 2h 58. The speed was spot on but the ringing elastic. The tenors worked well together.

Band 5 – 2h 58. The practice ended ignobly. Test piece much better. Faults were picked up in the middle of the change when the big and little bells were together.

He then announced the result;

Position

Rang

District

Peal Speed

Faults

1st

1st

Lewisham

2h 55

77%

2nd

3rd

Canterbury

3h 04

76%

3rd

2nd

Tonbridge

2h 49

63%

4th

5th

Ashford

2h 58

48%

5th

4th

Maidstone

2h 58

43%

Although the top 2 were very close he was happy that the overall better piece of ringing had been by Lewisham. So we broke the string of home wins at 4 and successfully defended the trophy won last year at Chelsfield.

A pleasant afternoon greeted the 4 bands who had come to take part in the 2012 Farningham Trophy. Frank and Catherine Lewis had agreed to come along and judge. It was good to see the Farnborough band entering the competition only a few weeks after getting their own bells installed. In fact as they had extra people a scatch band was formed and made it a 5 team competition.

After each band had rung they had the chance to practice for the ‘fun’ part of the afternoon and the handbell tune ringing competition. This took place after the tower ringing while the judges were deliberating. A Farningham church band took part along with the 4 tower bands. Everyone completed the test piece of St Peter and St Paul and overall it was pretty good. Philippa was the judge and gave second to the Erith team and the win to the Crayford / Dartford (and Erith! – thanks Mark and Anthony) band.
It was then back to the main event and Frank and Catherine made the following comments on each band.

Band 1 – One of the front bells clipped a bit. Would be happy as a bit of Sunday service ringing.

Band 2 – Leading better. Front bells had bit of trouble. Couple of trips. Very respectable.

Band 3 – Rang faster which was good. Had one minor trip but otherwise good.

Band 4 – Obviously a new band. Well down for coming along.

Band 5 – Much same. Treble and tenor kept it together well.

The results were then given in the time honoured reverse order as follows:

Position

Rang

Tower

Faults

1st

3rd

Farningham

21

2nd

1st

Crayford / Dartford

74

3rd

2nd

Erith, Christ Church

107

4th

5th

Farnborough

192

5th

4th

Scratch band

194

The trophy was presented to David and thanks go to him for organising another good competition.

A pleasant afternoon greeted the 5 bands who had come to take part in the 2012 striking competition at Shoreham. Chris Giddins from Southwark and Gill Harris from Stepney had agreed to come along and judge and once they were ensconced in the church yard the competition began. Everyone completed the test piece of 240 changes of a method of their choosing and there was some general ringing while the judges deliberated.

Ian thanked the Shoreham band for providing the tea and biscuits and being excellent hosts. He then introduced the judges. Chris though that the bells were challenging but that everyone gave it a good go. He then gave the following comments on each band.

Band 1 – Started well with occasional minor faults.

Band 2 – Good consistent leading. First 120 better than the second.

Band 3 – Inconsistent hand stroke leading. Ringing felt a bit nervous.

Band 4 – Started shakily but grew in confidence. Second 120 was better than the first.

Band 5 – Very nervous piece of ringing but well done for a good go.

The results were then given in the time honoured reverse order as follows:

Position

Rang

Tower

Faults

1st

1st

Chelsfield

13

2nd

2nd

Beckenham

18

3rd

4th

Crayford

25

4th

3rd

Eltham & Chislehurst

42

5th

5th

Erith, Christ Church

75

The trophy was presented to Philippa and Chelsfield now go forward to represent the district in the County competition at Chalk in September.

On Saturday 19th November, only 4 bands met up at Sidcup for the annual call change competition. It would have been three if there hadn’t been a slight bending of the rules to allow Anne to ring for 2 teams. Peter Jasper and Nick Hartley from London had agreed to come along and judge. Once they’d had a ring and found a place to listen, the draw was made and the competition began. Each team completed their test piece while Yvonne kept those not ringing supplied with tea, coffee and biscuits.

Peter and Nick then gave their comments and the results. Peter started by saying how nice it was to be invited down to the wilds of Kent to judge the competition. He felt that all of the bands should have been proud to have rung like that for Sunday service. He felt that from their brief try out that the bells were tricky and loud so he sympathised with the conductors. Nick then gave comments on each of the bands.

Team 1: The practice was confident and this continued into the test piece. Most faults were picked up in the leading and after the call changes.

Team 2: The test was better than the practice. The rounds at the beginning and end were very good but there was a crunchy patch in the middle.

Team 3: The faults were not all picked up for the same thing. Not as good as felt it could have been.

Team 4: No serious faults but lots of little ones which added up.

Position

Team

Tower

Faults

1st

1

Chelsfield

39

2nd

2

Horton Kirby

57

3rd

3

Eltham

64

4th

4

Crayford / Dartford

68

Congratulations to Chelsfield for winning the call change competition for the first time in many years. Thanks again to Peter and Nick for giving up their time to come and judge it and to Yvonne for providing the refreshments and venue.

Beckenham beat Chelsfield in what turned out to be a two horse race for the District Striking Competition at Bickley. They now get the chance to defend their County trophy in September.

Position

Tower

Faults

1st

Beckenham

?

2nd

Chelsfield

?

Thank you for everyone who took part in the call change competition.

Eight teams took part which is certainly a good effort. Each team paid a £10 entry fee which has raised a good sum towards the refurbishment of the trophy.

The results were as follows:

Position

Tower

Faults

1st

Crayford / Dartford

57%

2nd

Beckenham

50%

3rd

Chelsfield

48%

4th

Horton Kirby

46%

5th

Downe

45%

6th

Erith, Christ Church

35%

7th

Bromley

30%

8th

Eltham

23%

The standard was a lot higher on these deceptively difficult bells than the scores suggest as the judges marked each row as either clean or not. Everyone should be proud of how they rang but special congratulations must go to the combined Crayford & Dartford team on their success.

Thanks go to the judges, Tim Lynch and Catherine Heathcote, for coming out (and sitting in the cold) and to the Downe ringers for being such excellent hosts.

Dartford was the venue for the 2010 Striking Competition. Most bands rang the back 6 which proved to be a fair challenge for a striking competition and overall the ringing was of a high standard all day. Jonathan Slack (Stepney) and Matthew Rayner (West Ham) had agreed to be the judges. Once they had had a trial ring and been ensconced in one of the rooms in the church hall the competiton began. Each band had 2 minutes practice and rang 240 changes of a method of their choice.

Once everyone had rung, the judges quickly agreed on the order and, after the 120 club draw, made the following comments about each band.

Band 1 – Positive piece of ringing. Slightly slow handstroke leads.

Band 2 – After trying bells surprised a band tried minor. Positive piece of ringing that got better as it went on.

Band 3 – Grandsire good idea to ring as sounds nice. Again leading caused the problems.

Band 4 – Surprised that they rang the front 6. First part of each course ok but couldn’t keep it up.

Band 5 – Some leading was slow. Ringing got more confident. Slight trip in middle.

The results were then given in the time honoured reverse order as follows:

Position

Rung

Tower

Method

Peal Speed

Percentage

1st

2nd

Beckenham “George”

Cambridge S Minor

3h 4m

93%

2nd

3rd

Chelsfield

Grandsire Doubles

2h 53m

90%

3rd

1st

Crayford

Plain Bob Doubles

3h 12m

88%

4th

5th

Beckenham “Dragon”

Plain Bob Doubles

3h 4m

86%

5th

4th

Erith, Christ Church

Reverse Canterbury

2h 57m

46%

The trophy was presented to David and Beckenham now go forward to the County competition which is to be held in our District in September.

On 21st November, Farningham provided the venue for the call change competition. 9 teams took part, which was the most there had been for a number of years. Peter Sims (the County Chairman) and Sheila Phyall from the Ashford district came up to judge. Each team had to ring 120 changes and make at least 12 call changes.

The teams made it difficult for the judges as there was a high standard throughout and no one rang badly. After of plenty of thought though, (we were beginning to wonder if they’d just gone straight to the pub instead!) they came up with the following results:

Position

Tower

Faults

1st

Beckenham “George”

4

2nd

Erith, Christ Church

7

3rd

Beckenham “Dragon”

13

4th

Chelsfield

18

5th

Horton Kirby “Lesley”

24

6th

Horton Kirby “Mick”

26

7th

Crayford/Ash

27

8th

Eltham

35

9th

Crayford/Dartford

39

Congratulations to Beckenham on defending the trophy and thanks again to Peter and Sheila for giving up their time to come and judge it.

A bright Spring day welcomed the four towers that assembled at Crayford on Saturday 14th March for the District Striking competition. Ross Hartley was the judge and as he went to sit in the churchyard the draw was made. First time entrants Horton Kirby kicked off the competition and rang Grandsire Doubles. Next to go were the home band who rang Plain Bob Doubles. Reverse Canterbury was the choice of Erith and finally Chelsfield concluded the competition with Plain Bob.

Ross wasted no time in coming up with the result and was soon making the following comments about each band.

Band 1 – Struggled a bit with the rhythm at the beginning with a few crunchy bits but it did improve by the end. The tenor set a very good beat.

Band 2 – On the whole very consistent piece of ringing. Set off very purposefully. On the whole the errors were few and far between with just a couple of significant crunchy pieces which were recovered from quickly.

Band 3 – Started with some good solid rounds but the initial changes were unsteady. As touch progressed it improved and last 20 rows were very good.

Band 4 – Fell asleep in this one! A very positive piece of ringing. Striking metronomic and Tittums came up very well.

The results were then given in the time honoured reverse order as follows:

Position

Rung

Tower

Faults

1st

4th

Chelsfield

6.5

2nd

2nd

Crayford

21

3rd

3st

Erith, Christ Church

44.5

4th

1st

Horton Kirby

70

The trophy would have then been presented but Chelsfield were that confident about retaining it that they managed to leave it behind!

Chelsfield now go forward to the County competition to be held at Lynsted in the Canterbury District where they will be defending the trophy that they won last year.

A good entry of 6 teams took part in this year’s District 6 Bell Call Change Competition at Horton Kirby on Sat 15th Nov. Rhian and Gordon, from Meopham, were the judges.

The results were as follows:

Position

Tower

Faults

1st

Beckenham

24

2nd

Chelsfield

41

3rd

Chislehurst

58

4th

Horon Kirby (Senior)

65

5th

Crayford

73

6th

Horton Kirby (Junior)

90

Congratulations to Beckenham for winning the trophy and thanks to Horton Kirby for hosting and to Rhian and Gordon for judging.

A bright sunny day greeted the few teams that did make it to West Wickham to contest this year’s District 6 bell Striking Competition. Rachel Backhouse and Ross Hartley were judges and once they had found a suitable place to listen in the churchyard, the draw took place and the competition began.

Each band rang a 240 of Plain Bob Doubles successfully and then some general ringing took place while the judges made up their minds. Rachel began by saying it’s always harder to judge competitions when all the bands ring very well which is what had happen here. She then gave a few comments about each band.

Band 1 – Would know where their faults had been picked up as there had been a big crunch in the middle but otherwise the ringing had been good.

Band 2 – Very good right from the start.

Band 3 – Good but a bit more deliberate than the other teams.

The results were then given in the time honoured reverse order as follows:

Position

Rung

Tower

Faults

1st

2nd

Chelsfield

21

2nd

3rd

Eltham

46

3rd

1st

Crayford

49

So Chelsfield go forward to represent the district in the County 6 bell competition at Aldington on 27th September. There’s a clip of the winning band ringing on the district website. Thanks go to Rachel and Ross for judging and Judith and Alys for providing the tea, coffee, biscuits and bells.

240 Plain Bob Doubles

1. Philippa Rooke

2. Clare Pruden

3. John Barnes

4. Nick Wilkins (C)

5. Bob Pruden

6. Karen Barter

Eltham beat off 4 other teams to retain the District 6 Bell Call Change Competition at Chelsfield on Sat 1st Dec. Gareth Lawson and Steve Haynes, the Rochester District Ringing Masters, were the judges.

After some general ringing for the judges the draw was made and first of the home tower’s teams got the competition going. Four more teams and some general ringing later and the judges were ready to give out the result. They said that the standard had been high and everyone had rung well. They marked 1 point for a crunch and half a point for a clip. They then gave some general comments about each piece of ringing which included pointing out that the third team to ring had not rung enough changes (thanks Nick!).

The results were given in the time honoured reverse order and were as follows:

Position

Rung

Tower

Faults

1st

4th

Eltham

16

2nd

2nd

Chelsfield “Philippa”

20

3rd

1st

Chelsfield “Nick”

23

4th

3rd

Crayford

25.5

5th

5th

Horton Kirby

30.5

Well done to Eltham for retaining the trophy and thanks to Chelsfield for hosting and to Gareth and Steve for judging.

Report to follow

The annual district call change competition was this year held at Eltham on the 18th November. This year saw five teams enter, from Eltham, Crayford, Erith, Horton Kirby and Chelsfield. Ross Hartley and myself did the judging. The ringing was generally of a good standard and the results were as follows:

Position

Rung

Tower

Faults

1st

1st

Eltham

13

2nd

5th

Chelsfield

21.5

3rd

2nd

Crayford

29.5

4th

3rd

Erith, Christ Church

30

5th

4th

Horton Kirby

43

Congratulations to Eltham for a fine piece of ringing on their own bells. Thanks must also go to the Eltham ringers for hosting the competition and providing an extremely good tea (and somewhere warm for the judges).

Ash was the venue for this year’s district striking competition. Four teams made the trip out into the country on a bright sunny if cold day. Margaret Funnell and Graham Cottle from Hoo came to judge the competition. They were ensconced in their car when the draw took place out of a dustpan.

Each band took it in turns to ring while the others enjoyed the splendid tea.

After the judges had come back in and warmed up they made comments and gave out the results. They made the observation that there was some good ringing mixed in with some not so good. 2, 3 and 4 seemed to be the hardest bells to ring well.

They made the following comments about each of the bands:

Team 1 –   They didn’t really settle but there some good parts.

Team 2 –   There was a couple of big crunches and the tenor was slow on occasions.

Team 3 –   The tenor was a bit quick and they suffered from the speed they rang.

Team 4 –   Very confident. Once they sorted out 2, 3 and 4 it was very good.

And then they gave out the result:

Position

Tower

Faults

Rang

1st

Chelsfield

22

4th

2nd

Eltham

53

3rd

3rd

Crayford

63

2nd

4th

Erith, Christ Church

78

1st

It certainly was not unlucky for Chelsfield as they won the trophy for the 13th time. They will now go on to represent the District in the County 6 bell competition in September in the Rochester District. Unfortunately, they will have to wait to get the trophy as last year’s winning conductor forgot that he’d won and needed to return it. Thanks go to Gabrielle Stook and her team for providing the excellent tea.

The County 8 Bell Striking Competition was this year held at East Farleigh in the Maidstone District. It was a bitterly cold day with a biting wind blowing across the valley but thankfully there was a warm hall and plenty of tea on tap.

Tonbridge won and the Lewisham district band did not exactly do themselves justice but at least we beat the band who had one ringer who had not rung the method before!

On a cold November day, six towers made the trip to Horton Kirby for this years Call Change Competiton. Jim Hardy and Dominic Meredith were the judges.

The draw was made with Eltham going first as one of their ringers was not feeling very well. Each band successfully completed two minutes of practice and then their 120 change test piece. The only unfortunate thing was that while enjoying the lovely tea it was almost impossible to hear the ringing from inside the church. Some general ringing took place while the judges were deliberating.

Jim congratulated everyone for entering and then made a few general comments about the ringing. The competition had been of a good standard but none of the bands had produced an outstanding piece of ringing. All the teams had problems with the tenor, it seemed to be slow at back, but they all improved as the test piece went on. The average speed of ringing was 3m 51s which is a peal speed of 2hr 42m which would be right for the bells .

He then made the following comments about each of the bands:

Team A – Started well and at a good speed. Improved throughout but with one choppy section.

Team B – Good and confidant start. Again one choppy section. Had trouble deciding on a speed and rhyme but when right it was very good

Team C – Sounded a bit nervous and did really well to rescue a particularly sticky patch.

Team D – Good start but the tenor had the usual problem with being slow at back at the beginning.

Team E – Finished the call changes early, which is fine if the rounds at the end are good.

Team F – This was getting better and then hit a nervous patch.

And then they gave out the result in the traditional reverse order:

Position

Rung

Tower

Faults

1st

4th

Crayford

13

2nd

5th

Chelsfield

17

3rd

1st

Eltham

27

4th=

6th

Erith, Christ Church

29

4th=

2nd

Horton Kirby

29

5th

3rd

Foots Cray

40

Congratulations to Crayford on successfully defending the trophy and thanks go to Lesley, Sue and their team for providing the excellent tea.

An amusing event occurred with David Baverstock turning up as judge and Alice Baverstock ringing for Beckenham not knowing that David was going to be there.

Results were basically clear first and second and last and we were in the middle – 4 faults separated 3rd, 4th and 5th.

Bearsted does however have a village cricket team which was playing on the village green – beer and cricket – what more can you want!

Five towers made the trip out to Biggin Hill, venue for the 2005 6 bell striking competition. This challenging six was made even more so by new ropes that were put on only the week before. Michael Moreton stepped in at the last minute to judge the competition. He was relieved to find out that there were only 5 teams taking part as last time he had judged a competition there had been 13!

He made the following comments about each of the bands:

Team 1 –   The little bells were often a bit quick.

Team 2 –   There was no gap at the lead.

Team 3 –   Good sound and the end of the change was not to rushed

Team 4 –   One bell was consistently too quick but they was a good general rhythm.

Team 5 –   Pretty good but one bell too quick at the lead.

And then gave out the result:

Position

Tower

Faults

Rang

1st

Beckenham

48

5th

2nd

Chelsfield

54

3rd

3rd

Eynsford & Farningham

94

2nd

4th

Eltham

101

4th

5th

Crayford

180

1st

So congratulations to Beckenham on winning the trophy for the third time by edging out 12 time champions Chelsfield. They will now go on to represent the District in the County 6 bell competition in September in the Maidstone District (at least it’s not at Penge!!). Also, thanks go to Nancy Gay and her team for providing the excellent tea (hopefully there will be no complaints in the papers this time!).

YearWinning Tower
2016Chelsfield
2015Chelsfield
2014Chelsfield
2013Chelsfield
2012Chelsfield
2011Beckenham
2010Beckenham
2009Chelsfield
2008Chelsfield
2007Chelsfield
2006Chelsfield
2005Beckenham
2004Eltham
2003Chelsfield
2002Chelsfield
2001Chelsfield
2000Bromley
1999Chelsfield
1998Chelsfield
1997Erith, Christ Church
1996Beckenham
1995Beckenham
1994Crayford
1993Lewisham
1992Eynsford & Farningham
1991West Wickham
1990Lewisham
1989Lewisham
1988Bexley
1987No competition
1986Erith, Christ Church
1985Bexley
1984Ash
1983Chelsfield
1982Bexley
1981Bexley
1980Chelsfield
1979Bexley and Erith, Christ Church
1978Chelsfield
1977Chelsfield
1976Chelsfield
1975Chelsfield
1974Chelsfield
1973Bexley
1972Crayford
1971Bexley
1970Bexley
YearWinning Tower
2016St Mary Cray
2015Crayford & Dartford
2014Crayford
2013Crayford & Dartford
2012Crayford & Dartford
2011Chelsfield
2010Crayford & Dartford
2009Beckenham
2008Beckenham
2007Eltham
2006Eltham
2005Crayford
2004Crayford
2003Beckenham
2002Bromley
2001Crayford
2000Beckenham
1999Bexley
1998Beckenham
1997Crayford
1996Crayford
1995Eynsford & Farningham
1994Eynsford & Farningham
1993Beckenham
1992Crayford
1991Eynsford & Farningham
1990West Wickham
1989Eynsford & Farningham
1988Bromley
1987Bexley
1986Chelsfield
1985Hayes
1984Bexley
1983Woolwich