On the very cold and windy afternoon of 25 February six teams representing all the Districts in the Association met at East Farleigh for the annual 8-bell striking competition. The method chosen was a plain course of Superlative Surprise Major, and the judges were Ian Blake and Gaurang Patel, both from Hertfordshire.
After the judges had tried out the bells they managed to find a corner of the church from where to judge, as it was too cold to sit in the churchyard! The draw then took place.
Each team took approximately 15 minutes for their test piece. The last tower to ring were still two ringers short and had to use their substitutes, one of whom rang her first blows in the method during the test piece. Talk about a baptism of fire!
Whilst the ringing was going on the Maidstone District supplied a running buffet and copious cups of tea and coffee.
After the judges had made their decision the résumé of the ringing and the results were given. They said that the standard was very high which made their decision more difficult. They felt the choice of method was good in view of the weight of the bells and it was very noticeable when the tenor and treble were dodging if mistakes were made. There were very few method mistakes. Finally the results were given as below:
[table id=6 /]
Interestingly (if you’re into that sort of thing), the team which rang 4th in 2005 also came 1st, while the team that rang 3rd in 2005 also came 2nd. The team that rang 1st in both years came 4th both times. Make of that what you will. Sounds like an Angela Newing Ringing World puzzle.
The Chairman thanked the judges, the Maidstone District for their hospitality and for the great spread that had been provided to sustain everyone.