W. W. Worthington 10- Bell Striking Competition
“What’s going on here this afternoon?” “There’s a bellringing competition.”
“You know I can never tell what tune they’re playing here, anywhere else and I can pick it out, but not here. What tune are they playing?”
“It’s not one you will have heard of. It’s called Yorkshire.”
“How does that go then?”
“You’ll have to excuse me, the judge has just arrived. Goodbye.”
I was glad to escape that one, and leave the taxi driver waiting for his fare outside the Conservative Party H.O. and welcome the judges for the 14th W. W. Worthington 10-Bell Trophy Competition. Howard Egglestone had kindly agreed to take on the onerous task this year, he was to be assisted by Martin Rice and Nick Clarke, all three travelling from Newbury for the competition. I certainly hoped they would recognise Yorkshire Royal.
The competition this year had attracted seven entries with again teams travelling from near and far. It was pleasing to see the Southwell Diocesan Guild entering for the first time. The trophy continues to attract a hard core of entrants with new names cropping up each year. During the lifetime of the competition 16 different societies have taken part, though the number of different names on the trophy remains limited. In its infancy the competition was dominated by the St. Martin’s Guild and the Worcestershire and Districts Association, this has not been the case in recent years; who were going to be today’s victors?
The afternoon commenced with Mr. Stone, churchwarden, welcoming those present. He apologised for the absence of the incumbent who was away on holiday. Mr. Stone proceeded to make the draw for the ringing order. The band from Yorkshire were first out of the hat for the second year running and the Derby Diocesan Association were drawn to ring last. Those intending to ring at the towers during the afternoon were duly warned of congestion around St. Modwen’s, and that the semi-final first leg of the F.A. Vase trophy at Church Gresley would no doubt cause mayhem in the vicinity, as the home side entertained Littlehampton.
The judges made their appearance from the confines of their hideaway a little after 5.20 p.m. to give their verdict on the afternoon’s proceedings. Howard Egglestone introduced himself and the other judges to the assembled company and outlined their role in the adjudication. He spoke of the generally high standard of the ringing throughout the afternoon with no-one firing out or apparently having any difficulty with the method, though there had not been an excellent piece of ringing throughout the test piece. Martin Rice gave a brief resume of the performance of each band before Nick Clarke read out the results as follows: 1st-Derby Diocesan Association (30); 2nd-Lichfield Archdeaconry Society (38); 3rd-Worcestershire and Districts Association (45); 4th-Southwell Diocesan Guild (46); 5th-St. Martin’s Guild (61); 6th-Yorkshire Association (Cleveland and North Yorks Branch) (73); 7th-Midland Counties Guild (80).
Gordon Halls received the trophy on behalf of the winning team, last to ring but first in the competition and some amends for the 1-7 thrashing of Derby County by Liverpool. Thanks were expressed to all those who had made the day another enjoyable one at Burton. The judges were given the opportunity to ring at St. Paul’s before a celebratory drink or an opportunity to drown sorrows was taken at the Star and Garter. Next year’s competition will be held on Saturday 11th April.