Society of Royal Cumberland Youths

Promoting excellence in ringing around the world

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Cumberland's 2nd in Tawstock Shield

On Saturday November 6th, three London-based members of the society rejected invitations to the CY Dinner and travelled to Devon to compete for the Tawstock Shield in an 8 bell competition consisting of Devon-style Call Changes.

We first had a practice - at Moretonhamstead - where we tuned our ear back to the particular requirements of Devon Call changes: the closed handstroke leads; the 'in on the third pull' beginning of the raise and 'stop on the third stroke' at the end - something which is unfamiliar outside the West Country. After the drive down and a ridiculously long wait in the coffee shop, it was good to be ringing call changes again with some of our Devon members and friends. With some helpful coaching from Graham Sharland and Lee Avery who joined us at the practice, we soon felt ready for some judged ringing where the competitive element kicks in.

We then travelled on to Kingsteignton where the competition was being held. 13 teams in all were ringing - a real feat of endurance for the judges, Mary Mears and Maurice Sharland. We only had to ring for a minimum of 17 minutes but every blow counts - from the first to last chime. This takes concentration, and in the case of the back-end ringers, some hefty pulling. Our job at the front end is to keep control at quite a fast pace, especially difficult if the ropes are long.

The band stood as follows:

1 Ian Fielding (conductor)
2 Alison Waterson
3 Shirley McGill
4 Pauline Champion
5 Elaine Grant
6 Oliver Cross
7 Tom Waterson
8 James Grant

We were very pleased to be placed 2nd overall with 34½ (14) faults which earned us a cup and certificate. We were also placed 2nd for our 'top' ringing (in brackets). The team from Exeter Cathedral were the victors in both sections of the competition and they carried off the magnificent Tawstock Shield, which was just as well, as we would hardly have had room for it in the car!

For full results see

Shirley McGill