Rayleigh at Essex 6 Bell Competition Finals

Bell Ringers of Holy Trinity, Rayleigh, following on from their success in the Southern District 6 Bell Striking Competition rang in the finals of the competition at Nazeing, Essex on Saturday 7th July 2014.

All Saints, Nazeing

All Saints, Nazeing

It was a nice warm afternoon (with the occasional light shower) and the top 2 teams from each of the six districts came together to compete from the trophy.  11 out of the possible 12 teams turned up which is fantastic and the two Southern Teams were drawn early, Prittlewell 1st and Rayleigh 3rd.

Rayleigh finished 9th and Prittlewell, rather respectfully finished 3rd.  Well done to them.

I know this phrase is thrown out there often to make the lesser teams feel better, but in this case the old phrase “It’s the taking part that counts” really does mean something.  Why?  Let me explain.

This is, as far as we can tell the first time Rayleigh has entered a band in this competition for many many years.  David from Prittlewell said he has been ringing in the competition since the 1970s and he cannot remember us entering a team.  So, after our “shock” qualification in the heats (and it was a shock to many other teams) just getting through the to finals and turning up and ringing is a massive achievement.

The quality of the ringing in the final was of a high standard by all teams and the fact that we finished 9th out of 11 should be taken as a positive.  It also highlights the fact that we need to work on our striking a bit more.

Our thanks to Ros Skipper and Jim Laken, regular practice and sunday ringers at Rayleigh for helping us make up a band.  And a special thank you to Southern District and Association Master John Harpole, also a regular ringer at Rayleigh for joining us last minute to make up the 6.

The competition was won by Chemsford Cathedral and second place was Kirby.  Quite rightly too, the two highlights of the day and an absolute pleasure to listen to.

Ros Skipper, David Belcham, Jim Laken, John Harpole, Darren Osborne, Tony Lowe

After the 6 bell competition, everyone went to Harlow Common where an excellent buffet tea was provided.  Immediately after this was the Association 8 Bell Striking Competition where each district enters a team who all ring the same set-piece (this year a plain course of Cambridge Surprise Major) and Darren Osborne was Rayleigh was selected as a member of this band.  The Southern district finished 4th with 19 faults, with only 11.5 faults seperating first from last.