SRCY win Trinity Shield in National Devon Call change challenge
On Saturday 1st September a band of SRCY members descended on Branscombe for the National Devon Call Change competition. Although we didn't manage to bring back salvaged BMW motorbikes (long gone, unfortunately), we were more than satisfied with the little haul that we did acquire!
Having checked that the Master was happy with me entering a band under SRCY colours after being approached by Paul Pascoe (one of the organisers), I started to assemble a suitable band. The rules were the standard 6 bell call change competition rules i.e. rise, top ringing (the 60 on 3rds peal found in the diary) and lower, with closed handstroke leads and not less than 15 minutes and all judged. Anybody who has rung at Branscombe will know how much of a challenge this ground floor, chancel crossing 14cwt ring of 6 present, so choice of band was going to be important if we were going to do well. In addition to 3 other 'out of county' teams, we were going to be up against the current 8 bell champions (Kingsteignton), 6 bell champions (Egg Buckland) and the 4 other top teams from the Devon 6 bell final in June, as well as the Cathedral, Exeter Colleges and the Moorland ringers.
The band that entered: (l-r) Ian Fielding (1 (c)), Pauline Champion (3), Shirley McGill (2), Ian Bushell (5), Peter Harrison (6), Jason Turnock (4).
Anybody having had the chance to take part in good call change ringing will know how difficult it is to get right. It is a totally different style of ringing and if we wanted to do well we were going to have to practice hard. I thought we had a realistic chance of beating the non Devon bands and thought that we would do well if we finished in the top ten - importantly though, we wanted to produce a good peal and give a good account of ourselves.
After a couple of practices in London, we met at Fivehead and Isle Abbots on the morning of the competition for final rehearsals. We did really quite well on these 2 difficult 6's and travelled to Branscombe with the confidence that we could do well. After a quick bite to eat, we assembled at the tower for our allotted slot. As we entered the Church to ring, we were greeted by Mike Brady - one of several SRCY groupies who had come to support us and wish us well - and who sat in the church as we rang. We had a reasonably good rise, rang the top ringing fairly well and didn't do too badly with the lower - Mike said it was the best of the afternoon! - What would the judges think though?
At the results it transpired that we had done very well and much better than I had anticipated. We came 5th overall and won the Trinity shield for the best placed non Devon band. We had also beaten a couple of the top Call change bands. Predictably Egg Buckland won, although they were given a close run by Kingsteignton. To add to this, both myself and IKB won prizes in the raffle, but unfortunately all the booze had been snapped up by then! The remaining members of the band then spent a convivial evening in the Fountain Head chatting with the local ringers.
The results of the competition are as follows:
Exeter St Petrock
Bath & Wells (Glaston)
Bath & Wells (Axbridge)
Exeter Collages Guild
* These teams also qualified as non-Devon bands and competed for the 'Trinity Shield'
It was a good day - well organised by Paul Pascoe and Ryan Trout. The Devon Association are keen to promote their unique way of ringing and I would encourage people to consider taking part. I am certainly keen to enter next year and build on what we achieved, although I don't think we will be worrying Egg Buckland quite yet. I would like to thank the band for all their hard work and commitment; Alan Regin and David Macey, who came out and rang with us in the London Practices and also Mary Mears for giving some positive feedback on our practices and how we could improve.