2019 London Twelve Bell Competition

Cumberlands win the Whitechapel Trophy

All Saint's, Kingston,
All Saint's, Kingston

On Saturday 26th October, a Cumberland team and nine other London teams assembled at All Saint's Kingston for the 11th Annual Competition for the Whitechapel Trophy. It was the first time that Kingston had been chosen for this particular battle and some were heard to complain about how far away from London it is and how difficult to access. The doubters were soon immersed in everything Kingston had to offer - it proved to be an excellent venue, one that was much enjoyed by the contestants and supporters alike.

We were made very welcome by the local team. The Vicar greeted us warmly in the programme and although unable to be with us in person, another member of the Kingston Clergy gave a brief but sincere greeting. All was set for a good day – the draw proceeded efficiently with the usual amount of groans and cheers and then the good-natured scramble for photographs began. How difficult is it to get 12 people seated for a photograph? The answer is: very!

We were drawn last – 10 of 10 - absolutely the worst possible – but everyone just got on with it, spending the time socialising, shopping, eating, drinking (not too much) and generally marking time. When our turncame, we gave a very creditable rendition of Yorkshire Surprise Maximus with no method errors and we were all pleased with the way we had approached the task.

The judges were Jack Page and Anna Sherwood who were listening to a sound feed in a small, secluded room on the ground floor of the church. NoHawkear or other electronic marking devices were in evidence – a fact thatsets this competition apart from it's elder, more prestigious relation. It was good old-fashioned marking at its best, although we are sure to be biased in that judgement!

When the judges comments had been delivered and absorbed by the interested parties, it was clear that there had been some very good ringing and the judges had been challenged to separate the top teams. We made it by a 2% margin and very pleased we were to win the trophy for the third consecutive year – a great achievement. Full results can be seen on the London 12 bell website.

As ever, the smooth running of the competition helped to make the day go with a swing. Phil Rogers and Steve Mitchell (Secretary and Chairman of the Committee) managed the day with meticulous efficiency, but special mention must be made to Paul and Kate Flavell who had masterminded all the local arrangements. It was a hard day for them but they must feel very satisfied that all their hard work paid off.

Paul had one major worry – that we wouldn't achieve the minimum spend in the pub. With 450 pints of beer sold I think he can rest easy!

Shirely McGill

Ben Constant
Ben Constant with the Whitechapel Trophy (Photo taken by Linda Georgiades)

The full results of the contest are as follows:


Result details

Position Team Mark
1 Society of Royal Cumberland Youths 90%
2 Ancient Society of College Youths (Phobos) 88%
3 St Michael's, Cornhill 85%
4 Ancient Society of College Youths (Deimos) 83%
5 St Paul's Cathedral Guild 77%
6 Croydon, Surrey 75%
7 Southwark Cathedral (Red) 71%
8 University of London Society of Change Ringers 58%
9 Southwark Cathedral (Gold) 51%
10 Middlesex County Association 45%


Front row, right to left 1-6, back row, left to right 7-12
  1. Joanna K Dorling
  2. Shirley E McGill
  3. Michael R Crockett
  4. David C Bath
  5. Mary E Holden
  6. Geraldine R Forster
  7. Timothy R Forster
  8. Ian G Mills
  9. Stephen J Bailey
  10. Adam S Greenley
  11. Benjamin D Constant (C)
  12. Thomas B Mack


The band representing the Society, ringing Yorkshire Surprise Maximus

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