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Guild 6-Bell Striking Competition at Middle Rasen and Tealby
12th September 2015

The John Freeman Cup

On Saturday 12th September 2015 ringers from across the county converged on the Northern Branch for the annual Six Bell Guild Striking Competition. This year’s competition was held on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds around the pretty Market Town of Market Rasen, with Middle Rasen to the west hosting the John Freeman Cup Contest and the picturesque Tealby to the east hosting the Ted Colley Plate Contest. A splendid ringer's tea which gave contestants and ringers a chance to catch up, socialise, relax and reflect on the evenings competition ringing was held at the Church Hall in Middle Rasen, across the road from the Church, and the Northern Branch along with the local ringers should be congratulated on their superb hospitality. This was also the venue for the all-important results for the competitions where contestants and ringers eagerly waited to hear the results and to see how they had done.

This year was the first year that saw a different format to the two competitions. Unlike previous years when towers had to progress through the Branch heats to be eligible to enter the Guild Final, by either being placed first or second at Branch level to go through to the John Freeman Cup or placed third or fourth to go through to the Ted Colley Plate. This year the competitions were open to any team or tower group and in the competition of their choice. The other new innovation this year was that the two competitions were separated and made into two individual competitions, instead of them being practically the same competition run parallel to each other, where teams could ring what they wanted in either competition. This meant that the Ted Colley Plate Contest has now been made a competition for bands to ring Call Changes, Plain Hunt or Plain Bob Doubles / Grandsire Doubles and that the John Freeman Cup has been made a competition for bands to ring a set Minor method which all teams would ring, this year being Plain Bob Minor.

The reason for these changes to the format of the competitions is because in previous years there has been discord when towers have rung call changes in the Cup contest which was perceived as the higher standard competition out of the two and also the falling numbers of teams entering the competitions. It was hoped that by giving each competition a clear identity and opening the competitions up to any tower within the Guild would result in more towers taking part or being encouraged to take part. Unfortunately the response this year was not overwhelming with only ten teams taking part overall, five in each competition, which was a little disappointing.

I personally would like to take this opportunity to urge all towers to try and plan ahead and put a team together and enter the Guild Striking Competitions, which are always held on the second Saturday in September. Remember the new rules allow tower clusters to join forces and enter bands together if you ringing regularly as a group of towers. I believe that the vast majority of towers are now able to enter the Plate Contest as most towers can manage Call Changes, so wouldn’t it be a lovely situation to be in if we were swamped out by entries in the Ted Colley Plate Contest! I also believe that a good number of towers could have managed the set Minor method this year in the Cup Contest which was 240 changes of Plain Bob Minor, which meant you could have rung four plain courses, which one band did. I also urge the Branches to be proactive to encourage their towers to enter bands. At the end of the day the more bands which enter from your Branch the more representation your Branch has and the more chance the Branch has of winning or being runners up in the competitions. I still think Branches should be holding their own Branch Striking Competitions and then encouraging all those who take part at Branch level to enter the Guild Finals on the second Saturday in September. Branches and Towers should be encouraged to start thinking about the Guild Striking Competitions in May / June before the busy summer months start, which gives towers 3 to 4 months before the Guild Competition to start trying to get bands together and most importantly get the date down in their diary. As with all new things and changes it sometimes takes time for people to get used to new formats etc and hopefully as the years go on more and more towers from across the Guild will enter the Guild Competitions and become use to the new style and way of entering the competitions and it will become the norm. So back to this year's Guild Competition.

The John Freeman Cup Contest - Middle Rasen

The John Freeman Cup Contest was held on the easy going 7cwt six at St Peter & Paul’s Middle Rasen, with the set method being 240 changes of Plain Bob Minor. The judges for this competition were Clive & Valerie Allen from neighbouring Nottinghamshire. This was the 47th competition for the John Freeman Cup, with the inaugural competition being held back in 1969.

Five teams enter in total, and the order in which they rang is as follows:

1. St Botolph’s Lincoln (Central)
2. Barton-upon-Humber (Northern)
3. Bourne (Southern)
4. Messingham (West Lindsey)
5. Lincoln Cathedral (Central)

The Ted Colley Plate Contest - Tealby

The Ted Colley Plate Contest was held on the pleasant slow turning 11cwt six at All Saints Tealby. The judges for this competition were D Paul Mason & Daniel Meyer again from neighbouring Nottinghamshire. This was the 34th competition for the Ted Colley Plate, with the first competition being introduced back in 1982.

Five teams enter in total, and the order in which they rang along with what they rang is as follows:

1. Gainsborough (West Lindsey) Doubles
2. Tealby (Northern) Plain Hunt on 5
3. Market Rasen (Northern) Call Changes
4. Potterhanworth (Central) Call Changes
5. Stow/Willingham (West Lindsey) Doubles

Results

The John Freeman Cup

Clive Allen kindly started off by explaining how he had marked the competition before going on to give a brief comment on each band’s ringing along with the speed of the test piece and how well they had used their practice time. This was followed by him announcing the results by giving the number of faults for each team in reverse order before Valerie Allen presented The John Freeman Cup to the winning team.

Comments:

Team 1: St Botolph’s Lincoln (Central Branch)
240 Plain Bob Minor, 9 mins.
Made good use of Practice and rounds at start of test piece, Confident, Well Mastered.

Team 2: Barton-upon-Humber (Northern Branch)
4 Plain courses of Plain Bob Minor, 10 mins 30 secs.
Lumpy start but gradually settled down.

Team 3: Bourne (Southern Branch)
240 Plain Bob Minor, 10 mins.
Steady rhythm.

Team 4: Messingham (West Lindsey Branch)
240 Plain Bob Minor, 8 mins 40 secs.
Fastest test piece of the day, Confident, Had a problem towards the end.

Team 5: Lincoln Cathedral (Central Branch)
240 Plain Bob Minor, 9 mins 22 secs.
Confident but marred in the middle.

Results:

The Results for The John Freeman Cup at Middle Rasen
Placed
Team
Tower
Faults
Speed
1st Place Team 1 St Botolph’s Lincoln (Central) 11 faults 9 mins
2nd Place Team 5 Lincoln Cathedral (Central) 16 faults 9 mins 22 secs
3rd Place Team 3 Bourne (Southern) 20 faults 10 mins
4th Place Team 4 Messingham (West Lindsey) 23 faults 8 mins 40 secs
5th Place Team 2 Barton-upon-Humber (Northern) 32 faults 10 mins 30 secs

Congratulations to St Botolph’s Lincoln on winning The John Freeman Cup for the first time and to the runners up Lincoln Cathedral. Congratulations also to the Central Branch in being represented by the winning team and runners up in this competition.

The proud winners of the John Freeman Cup
St Botolph’s Lincoln, team in order from back left clockwise:
(1) Sue Waterfall, (2) Eleanor Maude, (3) Tom Blyth,
(4) Graham Colborne, (5) Christopher Woodcock - cond, (6) Andrew Blacklock.

I would like to congratulate all the teams who took part in this competition and congratulate them all on the high standard of ringing achieved, everyone should have gone away feeling proud of the standard of ringing they managed to achieve.

The Ted Colley Plate

Paul Mason kindly started off by giving comments on each band’s ringing along with the speed of the test piece and how well they had used their practice time. This was followed by Daniel Meyer announcing the results by giving the number of faults for each team in reverse order.

Comments:

Team 1: Gainsborough (West Lindsey Branch)
Doubles, 8 mins 43 secs.
Tenor struggled, but got better as the test piece progressed. Was noted that most teams had struggled with the tenor’s odd-struckness.

Team 2: Tealby (Northern Branch)
Plain Hunt on 5, 9 mins 26 secs.
Struggled with problems throughout the test piece, but was obvious they were trying hard.

Team 3: Market Rasen (Northern Branch)
Call Changes, 9 mins 15 secs.
Had a few clips throughout but settled down.

Team 4: Potterhanworth (Central Branch)
Call Changes, 8 mins 23 secs.
Lots of rounds at start of test piece but paid off giving a settled start, best tenor ringing of the day, small mistake towards end but resolved quickly, confident ringing, unfortunately rang short of the 240 rows required only ringing 214.

Team 5: Stow/Willingham (West Lindsey Branch)
Doubles, 8 mins 5 secs.
Fastest ringing of the day, band seemed to struggle slightly at that speed, however held promise with only tiny faults throughout.

Results:

The Results for The Edward Colley Plate at Tealby
Placed
Team
Tower
Faults
Speed
1st Place Team 5 Stow/Willingham (West Lindsey) 92 faults 8 mins 5 secs
2nd Place Team 1 Gainsborough (West Lindsey) 93 faults 8 mins 43 secs
3rd Place Team 4 Potterhanworth (Central) 101.5 faults 8 mins 23 secs
4th Place Team 3 Market Rasen (Northern) 133.5 faults 9 mins 15 secs
5th Place Team 2 Tealby (Northern) 142 faults 9 mins 26 secs

It should be noted that the Judges explained that they averaged out the total number of faults for Potterhanworth for the 214 rows they had rung and added on the average for the 26 missing rows. Had that resulted in them being placed first or second then they would have had to be disqualified but as it turned out they were placed third. It just shows that ringing Call Changes is not as easy as everyone thinks!

Congratulations to the Stow/Willingham band on winning The Ted Colley Plate and to the runners up Gainsborough. In the winning Stowingham band were 1.Sue Faull 2.Tom Blyth 3.Mark Discombe 4.Shawn Lewis 5.Chris Turner 6. David Justham.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate both the Tealby and Market Rasen bands on entering the competition, it is good to see new towers entering, especially local towers and should be an encouragement to other towers to enter and give it a go.

This concluded an enjoyable evening and congratulation to all the towers who entered bands! Let’s hope that next year more towers take up the challenge and enter the competitions, we would love to see you! The more towers we have entering the more of a competition we have. We want to see new names (towers) entering, and even better if we see new names winning or become runners up. This year we have a new name on the John Freeman Cup so it just shows it can be done. Put the second Saturday in September next year (2016) down in your diary!

Chris Woodcock