All Saints Kingston was delighted to be the venue for the London 12-bell competition held on Saturday 26 October 2019.
Over 100 ringers assembled in the church for the 10:30am draw. They were welcomed by London 12-bell Chairman Steve Mitchell and the Rev. Mark Stafford, deputising for Rev. Jonathan Wilkes who was away.
The draw was carried out by Mark Stafford and Alan Hughes, donor of the magnificent Whitechapel trophy. There were a few groans about teams’ places in the draw, mostly depending on when they would be able to get to the Druids Head, the host pub. Several of the ringers were already in the Druids watching England take the All Blacks apart. The ringers approved of the beers of the day provided by the Twickenham brewery and the ladies in the church café did a roaring trade selling drinks and cakes.
The judges for the day, Jack Page and Anna Sherwood, were ensconced in the Heritage Room, assisted by Adrian Udal who had provided a wi-fi link to a microphone suspended over the bells.
The Kingston ringers provided stewards who showed the teams up the tower and guarded the judges. We had prepared for the day by getting the bells serviced by Bill Hibbert, changing several ropes in the process, and putting up banners and display boards, as well as informing the local shops and market place what was going on. The whole of the upstairs room at the Druids Head had been booked for the ringers. We had to guarantee a minimum spend of £1,000 during the day but in the event beat that target quite easily.
The ten teams had the opportunity to ring a few rounds before launching into six leads of Yorkshire Maximus, the last four leads being marked. The ringing was generally of a high quality although some experienced ringers could have done better!
At the end of the contest, all the ringers congregated in the Druids for the results given by Jack and Anna. The winners were the Cumberland Youths, so the trophy was duly presented by Alan Hughes to Ben Constant, leader of the Cumberland team.
We were delighted that the day had gone so well and thanks to everybody who made it such a success.
Paul Flavell, Tower Captain, All Saints Church, Kingston Photos from Linda Georgiades and Diane Pratt
On Saturday 26 October there is to be a bell ringing competition held here at All Saints. The teams competing are from all the churches in the London area with 12 bells, as we have here. Teams taking part include ringers from St Paul’s and Southwark Cathedrals.
Between now and then all ten teams are coming here to practise and to familiarise themselves with our bells. This means there will be a lot of bell ringing on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons during September and October as they practise. Enjoy!
Chris Ridley very kindly offered to organise this year’s outing as a one-day trip to the very attractive Regency city of Cheltenham. With family contacts at all the towers this was easy to do, but he said arranging the weather was harder – in the event it was a scorcher!
We started on the recently augmented ring at St Marks. What was a difficult and nearly unringable five are now a super easy going ring of eight. With nearly 30 ringers in our party, the ringing took some juggling but everybody had a decent go.
Leckhampton followed – an unusual chancel ring in full view of the church (tricky when ringing for weddings). However, we produced some good ringing on this nice little eight.
Charlton Kings, the last tower before lunch were a trickier proposition, but again everybody managed a good ring. We stopped a little bit early for the traditional group photo and then dispersed for our own lunch arrangements.
The highlight of the afternoon was undoubtedly the brand-new ring of 12 at Cheltenham Minster. The bells were completely recast and rehung in 2017, replacing the old worn out ring (some of the bells went to Keltek to be used elsewhere). We acquitted ourselves very well on the bells including a good course of Stedman Cinques.
The quiet pretty village of Compton Abdale was a contrast to
the busy streets of Cheltenham. There is
a pleasant ring of six on a small gallery so we took it in turns to have a ring
Finally the lovely little town of Northleach and the magnificent church of SS Peter and Paul built by wealthy wool merchants in the 15th century. The bells date from 1700 with two trebles added in 1897. They are not easy to ring but sound wonderful and were a fitting end to a wonderful day.
I must mention how well our learners did on the outing. They were all quite happily ringing rounds on all the rings today. We all enjoyed the outing and thanks again to Chris for organising it.