Society of Royal Cumberland Youths

Promoting excellence in ringing around the world

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Annual SRCY vs ASCY Event

SRCY narrowly snatches victory on home turf...

Once a year the two societies arrange a joint ‘event’ - this year it was our turn to host and we chose Spitalfields to give us a slightly different focus from previous incarnations of this fixture.

In consultation with the College Youths, it was decided to hold a ringing ‘challenge’ - not a straight-forward striking competition in the usual sense although we felt it only right that bellringing should feature somewhere in the proceedings!

So on Wednesday 30th May we entertained our visitors with a very enjoyable 8-bell practice, but at a given time, a piece of ringing was judged. Various handicaps spiced it up a bit (more on that later!). The competition ran as follows:

Each team (which had already been chosen by the respective masters) chose a method from ‘the hat’ - one of the standard 8 - and then they rang that method immediately. However, before commencing the test piece, the eight ringers drew for bells. A member of each Society judged.

The Cumberlands rang first, drawing Bristol from the hat - what luck - we get so much practice at this method! The band then drew for bells and a not-altogether-ridiculous band placing made our piece flow nicely with very few errors - just a small blemish at the end and a few hesitations and slightly missed blows. It was a very competent start.

The College Youths rang next - they drew Cambridge - but their experienced line-up was never going to have many problems. Being the ‘Away’ team, they took a lead or two to absolutely settle and then produced some cracking ringing in the second half of the course.

The judges, Terry Streeter and Shirley McGill, pronounced Team A (Cumberlands) to be the winners by a very narrow margin.

We then repaired to a wine bar - the Spirit of Seventy Six - which we felt would accommodate the group more comfortably. We do have our man on the inside there, and he made sure that we were well looked after. After a very pleasant hour, a group of about 20 regrouped at ‘The Sheraz’ and another two hours of socialising soon passed. Most thought the evening had finished then, apart from the usual suspects from both societies who could not pass by the ‘Pride of Spitalfields’ without saying hello!

It was a good occasion and most enjoyable - let's have more like this.

Shirley McGill