Society of Royal Cumberland Youths

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2015 National 12 Bell Final at St Peter Mancroft, Norwich

SRCY come fifth at National 12 Bell Final

Each competition seems to develop it’s own style. And what I love about the 12 bell is no event is the same. Although hosting teams are given guidance as to the necessary expected elements, each organising team puts their own stamp on the competition day, and the St Peter Mancroft Guild of Ringers certainly did us proud. There was something for everyone – for the visitor to Norwich, intrigued about “what was bellringing”, publicity for and information on the 300 Appeal (the current project to raise the ringing room floor back to the original level and incorporate a ringing training centre), a mini ring supplied by the Suffolk Guild enabling many onlookers to “have a go”, a quiz for the children to complete and facility for many to enjoy convivial company of friends and family whilst listening to the splendid sound of the bells of St Peter Mancroft.

The St Peter Mancroft Guild of ringers started their excellent preparations early with appearances on the local Radio Norfolk (by SRCY members Jon Spreadbury and Ben Trent). They then upgraded their media careers to television – appearing on BBC’s Look East on Friday night (SRCY members Richard Turk, Peter Sawyer and Simon Rudd in featured interviews, with ringing contributions from Janet House, Steve Day and Faith Pearce), a huge well done on PR for the competition and for the exercise as a whole. So any media advice needed – these are your people to talk to!

The day itself I know from friends and my own experience, starts very early with a mop and bucket and basic facitilites cleaning – when you think there must be more to this competition organisation lark than to be getting up at 6am, flash liquid and broom in hand! It does improve.........

The early birds arrive (Tim Forster – were you first in the queue for the bacon butties?!) and gradually everything comes together. The teas and coffees and breakfasts are going well, display boards are set up with information, the test ring for the Judges has commenced, people are rushing around with keys and notices – but to rest of the world all is going seamlessly.

Then we’re already at the church for the draw. After a receiving a very eloquent welcome from St Peter Mancroft Ringing Master and Church Warden Richard Turk, we moved swiftly onto the draw. Perhaps nerves hang on this nearly as much as the results?  SRCY were drawn third to ring – a nice schedule ahead – not too long for the nerves to set in, and enough time for enjoyment of the rest of the day.

And so to the competition itself. So the actual performance or ringing of the test piece is a single snapshot of the months of build up and hard work that has gone into learning the set piece – this year Lincolnshire Surprise Maximus. Exactly how you can make that snapshot 13 minutes into the best performance is surely a never ending question. There are so many factors on the day that you might not even think of influencing you before. To top this off you have the character of the bells – which in this case were no push over at all. Even the with the successful replacement of new dyneema ropes, Mancroft bells maintain character, they are rewarding, but I think all would agree definitely challenging. So put all that into the mix with the pressure of the performance – for 10 teams to go through that, I am in awe!

Teams seem to come down from the belfry focusing on the things that we, the listeners, didn’t focus on outside. And we do want to tell you – I loved this bit, lovely back bell roll up there, nice style, I liked the clarity of the little bells going up through the back and I particularly enjoyed a bit that I can’t precisely tell you where it was ........ You’ll often find we can’t convey specifics – but I want to say listening is honestly a pleasure, and to listen to our own team produce some lovely ringing is a real treat.

Our team came 5th this year. The result might not have reflected the hard work that went on behind scenes - but it’s about approaching next year with enthusiasm and heading forward to what we know we can achieve. And remembering also, we, the listeners, did enjoy the performance.

So I hope you enjoyed being in Norwich as much as I did. A slight bias there from a Norwich girl, but to the 12 bell SRCY team and to our SRCY members of the St Peter Mancroft Guild – you contributed to a really good 12 bell competition day.

And on closing, I shouldn’t forget to mention that the Brummies were knocked of the top spot and congratulations to the College Youths in achieving this. Here’s looking forward to the next year’s competition!

Jo Dorling

Full results can be seen at


Team Rang Speed Mark
1 Ancient Society of College Youths 2nd 3h39 91%
2 Birmingham 9th 3h32 89%
3 Bristol 4th 3h34 84%
4 Exeter 7th 3h31 82%
5 Society of Royal Cumberland Youths 3rd 3h41 77%
6 Melbourne 6th 3h37 75%
7 Cambridge 10th 3h34 73%
8 Norwich 8th 3h35 72%
9 Leeds 1st 3h41 54%
10 Towcester 5th 3h45 49%

Our test piece recording can be found on the National 12 bell website. View the complete results here.


The band representing the Society, ringing 288 Lincolnshire Surprise Maximus

12 Bell band
Front row, right to left 1-6, back row, left to right 7-12
  1. Lee Pinnington
  2. Shirley E McGill
  3. Geraldine R Forster
  4. Mary E Holden
  5. Katherine A Hill
  6. Doug J Beaumont
  7. Ian G Mills
  8. Stephen J Bailey
  9. Alan Regin (C)
  10. Thomas B Mack
  11. Benjamin D Constant
  12. Nicholas D Brown