St Luke's Church

Bell Ringing Cup 2014

In 1965, the then vicar of Little Aston, Rev Henry Follis, donated a cup to be rung for each year by the ringers of the Archdeaconry of Stafford. This event has continued each year since and so, in early March, 9 bands of ringers, from the 52 churches with bells within the Archdeaconries of Lichfield & Walsall, met at St James the Great, Longdon for a keenly fought contest.

An invited judge is secreted well away from traffic and competitor noise. The order of ringing is drawn and each team rings with the judge marking a fault where the rhythm of the ringing falters.

Cannock were drawn 7thso there was a long wait before we ascended the stairs. After our 3 minute practice, we started our Test Piece and it immediately fell into a good, steady rhythm. Despite a few minor ‘clips’ we were pleased with our efforts and we eagerly awaited whilst the other 2 teams rang.

After an even longer wait, the judge commented on each team, but without giving the scores. She described the ringing of both Lichfield Cathedral and ourselves as competent and very good, but who had won? An X-Factor-like pause after ‘and the winner is’ was followed by ‘… Team 7’.

Cannock had finished 2nd or 3rd many times, virtually always to Lichfield Cathedral, but this was the first time in more than 40 years of trying for Linda and I that we had won. There was no time for celebration, but this was remedied the following Wednesday in Wetherspoons after ringing practice.

We will be there next year to defend our trophy and hope to take a second team along as well.

The winning team

From left to right: Linda Pick, Geoff Pick, Martin Hardeman, Maggie Warford, Malcolm Quimby, John Pollard

Geoff Pick

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