National Youth Contest, London, 2nd July 2016
It promised to be a nice day as we made our way down on the train from Newark to London Kings Cross for the Ringing World National Youth Contest.
The day started out pretty much like all the other competitions which involves going to one of the local churches for registration. Today the church was that of St. Mary le Bow, which houses the famous "Bow Bells". Once we had registered however the day followed a different format from previous years.
With 24 teams taking part, it was not possible to have just one striking competition. At a conservative estimate of 15 minutes per team the contest would take 6 hours and that didn't allow for the judges having a break. Instead qualifing rounds were held at 3 nearby churches, 8 teams at each church. The churches were St James Garlickhythe, St Dunstan in the West and St Saviour, Pimlico. The teams from Lincolnshire (the Lincolnshire Poachers and the Lincolnshire Gamekeepers) were both drawn to ring at St. Dunstan, which is a short walk from St. Mary le Bow. On the way we had to pass St. Paul's Cathedral and a tour had been arranged for each of the teams to accomodate their time slot in the competition.
Once the test piece had been rung we made our way back to St. Mary le Bow to learn if we had made it thorugh to the final. In the case of the "Poachers" an obligatory stop at McDonalds had to be fitted in on the way. Before learning the results of the qualifiers, there was an opporunity to ring on the famous bells of St. Mary le Bow, a 41cwt ring of 12. At about 1:15pm we learnt that niether of the Lincolnshire teams had made it through to the final which would be held later at St Olave, Hart St. Only 2 teams from each of the 3 qualifiers would go through to the final, 6 teams in total.
In many respects this was a good thing as we had the rest of the day to wander about and ring on some of the other rings of bells in the area. From what is perhaps one of the oldest rings of bells at St. Mary le Bow, we went to ring on what must be the very newest set of bells at St James, Garlickhythe. These are the Jubilee bells cast for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and were seen being rung on a barge sailing down the Thames during the Pageant. They were later rehung in St James, Garlickhythe and a very fine set of bells they are too.
Visits were made to St Botolph, Bishopsgate and Christ Church, Spitalfields, before returning to St. Mary le Bow for the final results. It was quite a squeeze to get all the teams and their supportors in to the church and it was literally standing room only. The Revd George Bush opened the proceedings before head judge David Pipe said a few words on how the results would be announced. In the past I have often found the announcement of the results to be a bit labourious, but this year it was done quite slickly. Firstly the assistant judge for each of the 3 qualifing towers said a few brief words about the ringing each team had done. Then the results were announced in reverse order, the last 6 teams annouunced being the 6 in the final.
The Lincolnshire Gamekeepers came through with a solid 'B' grade while the Lincolnshire Poachers were slightly ahead of them with an 'A'
|Grade||Team Name||Ringing||Qualifier Tower|
|A*||Bedfordshire Young Ringers||Plain Bob Triples||St James Garlickhythe|
|A||Fen Tigers||Call Changes||St James Garlickhythe|
|A||Guildford DG Young Ringers||Call Changes||St James Garlickhythe|
|A||Oxford DG||Plain Bob Triples||St Dunstan-in-the-West|
|A||Three Spires (Lichfield & Walsall)||Call Changes||St Dunstan-in-the-West|
|A||Lincolnshire Poachers||Call Changes||St Dunstan-in-the-West|
|A||The G&B||Plain Bob Triples||St Dunstan-in-the-West|
|A||Sussex Young Ringers||Grandsire Triples||St Saviour Pimlico|
|A||Young @ Herts Hot Buns||Call Changes||St Saviour Pimlico|
|B||Tartan Spartans (Scotland)||Call Changes||St James Garlickhythe|
|B||Worcester Cathedral||Call Changes||St James Garlickhythe|
|B||Yorkshire Tykes||Plain Bob Triples||St James Garlickhythe|
|B||Essex Young Eagles||Call Changes||St Dunstan-in-the-West|
|B||Kent Young Ringers||Call Changes||St Dunstan-in-the-West|
|B||Lincolnshire Gamekeepers||Call Changes||St Dunstan-in-the-West|
|B||Derbyshire Young Ringers||Call Changes||St Saviour Pimlico|
|B||Suffolk Young Ringers||Call Changes||St Saviour Pimlico|
|B||Young Sussex Ringers||Call Changes||St Saviour Pimlico|
|C||St Martinís Youth||Call Changes||St James Garlickhythe|
|C||Youths of the South Coast||Call Changes||St James Garlickhythe|
|C||Surrey||Call Changes||St Dunstan-in-the-West|
|C||Young @ Herts Ringing Chamber of Secrets||Call Changes||St Saviour Pimlico|
|C||Bath & Wells||Call Changes||St Saviour Pimlico|
|C||Coventry Spires||Call Changes||St Saviour Pimlico|
|Call Changes Category|
|A||Young @ Herts Hot Buns||Winners of Gold Medal for the Call Change Ringing Category|
|A-||Three Spires (Lichfield & Walsall)|
|Method Ringing Category|
|A*||Bedfordshire Young Ringers||Winners of Gold Medal for the Method Ringing Category|
and winners of the Whitechapel Trophy
|A||Sussex Young Ringers|
After the results for each team were read out, they went up to the front of the church to receive their medals.
Eventually the presentations were complete and all that was left to do was announce the location of the 2017 Ringing World National Youth Contest, which will take place in Birminhgham on Saturday 1st July 2017. We were all very tired and made our way back to Kings Cross station for the trip back to Lincolnshire. The webmaster almost made it back to Lincoln unscathed, but was "forced" into another visit to McDonalds (that's twice in one day!) for coffee and chips!