Welcome to the website for the Ridgman Ten Bell Striking Competition

The Ridgman Trophy is awarded to the winner of a striking competition on ten bells, held annually in May or June. The territorial associations in East Anglia (including the Lincoln Guild) often enter teams, and others are welcome as space permits. Badges of participating Guilds and Associations are shown to the right; click a badge to go to the website for the organisation.

For more information about ringing church bells and learning to ring: About bell ringing and Change ringing are part of the website of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers; Discover Bell Ringing is a website which includes country-wide contacts with local Associations and Guilds.

2019 Ridgman 10 bell striking competition:
June 15th at the Norman Tower, Bury St Edmunds

Hertford retain the Ridgman Trophy

"A rip-roaring practice" - judges.

The 32nd edition of the Ridgman ten-bell competition was held at the Norman Tower, Bury St Edmunds, on Saturday 15th June 2019 by invitation of the Suffolk Guild represented by their chairman Rowan Wilson.  Kate and Paul Flavell as judges said how important it is to achieve good cooperation between the small and large bells in a test piece such as Cambridge Surprise Royal, also of the danger of falling into an elephant trap ... a major method mistake.

When not ringing we found a lovely city on a sunny day, though many preferred loitering on the cathedral green to renew acquaintance and to hear some fine test pieces. Hertford were judged clear winners with Suffolk and Ely showing strongly: all eight teams brought their test pieces home in good style.

Provisionally for next year: Saturday 13th June 2020 at Boston Stump on the invitation of the Lincoln Diocesan Guild, to ring Grandsire Caters.
Rowan Wilson (Suffolk), Richard Sales (Hertford),
Paul and Kate Flavell (judges) with the Ridgman Trophy.

Here are the results, 
1      Hertford County Association   85%
2      Ely Diocesan Association 82%
3      Suffolk Guild 81%
4      Essex Association 77%
5      Norwich Diocesan Association 74%
6      Lincoln Diocesan Guild 73%
7=   Cambridge University Guild 67%
7=    Peterborough Diocesan Guild 67%

Full results and notes on Judges' comments are here, band photos are here.    

2018 Ridgman 10 bell striking competition: June 16th at St Peter, St Albans

St Peter’s Church in St Albans proved an excellent venue hosted by the Hertford 
County Association. Seven teams took part with ringing from 1-00 to 4-30, a return to the afternoon format after starting in the morning last year.

We were privileged to have Dickon Love and Emma Cundiff as judges, working from the choir vestry, simply listening to and scoring the precision and effectiveness of the ringing. They remarked that these are an easy modern ten, just over a ton, and perfectly suited for the occasion. The trebles may be a little indistinct in the ringing chamber, and there may be minor instances of odd-struckness, but all bells were very clear outside. There had been a good range of ringing with a clear winner.

Many thanks to all those whose efforts created a pleasant day. We are particularly indebted to the Revd Canon Mark Dearnley and the PCC of St Peter’s church for the use of the bells and for their support in using the church hall as the main venue for the day, to the Hertford County Association and the local band for planning and running the day itself, to all who supplied cakes and tea, to the judges for their thoughtful and constructive comments, finally to all who travelled and made the day
worthwhile. Cheers!

Hertford County Association were clear winners and Richard Sales received the Ridgman Trophy from Revered Dearnley.

In 2019 the Suffolk County Association hope to arrange the competition, possibly at the Norman Tower in Bury St Edmunds, on June 15th, ringing Cambridge Royal.
Here are the results, 
1   Hertford County Association   41 faults
2   Ely Diocesan Association 61 faults
3   Bedfordshire Association  65 faults
4   Suffolk Guild 114 faults
5   Essex Association  115 faults
6   Cambridge University Guild 119 faults
7   Lincoln Diocesan Guild did not finish

Full results and notes on Judges' comments are here, band photos are here.    

2017 Ridgman 10 bell striking competition: June 17th at Great St Mary, Cambridge

  Here are the results, 

1   Ely Diocesan Association 86%
2   Bedfordshire Association 72%
3   Lincoln Diocesan Guild 67%
4   Suffolk Guild 64%
5   Hertford Association 63%
6   Peterborough Diocesan Guild 62%
7   Cambridge University Guild 53%

Steward's report here, and band photos here.    

2016 Ridgman 10 bell striking competition: June 4th at Holy Cross, Daventry

The Host Guild's report by Odette Dawkins, Peterborough Diocesan Guild

Holy Cross, Daventry (photo: Alan Winter)
After months of planning and endless emails, Saturday 4th June finally arrived for Holy Cross Church, Daventry to host the 29th Ridgman Trophy Competition. The draw had taken place at Holy Cross Church two weeks earlier during the Tuesday night practice with each band being given a strict start time.

By 12 noon all was ready and the bells rung up in anticipation – if only they knew what was in store for them!

The band from Bedfordshire started to arrive, followed by Essex and then other bands began to congregate, many sampling the sumptuous teas, sandwiches and cakes supplied by the fantastic team of ladies from Holy Cross Church.  

The first band to ring - Bedfordshire - entered the ringing room and began, their ringing was magnificent, I had never heard the bells here at Daventry rung so well, with great gusto and with such a lovely sound. It was amazing – yes, I know I’m a learner but wow, what a shock to hear such ringing! Bands were outside listening too, doing their very own judging and then our own Peterborough band began to arrive. 

Suffolk rang second, team photos were duly taken and then it was our turn. With the bells, being still loud and majestic the Peterborough band began. How proud I was, these were my people, I knew them all – how brilliant! - but the competition was still on and the bells, oh how they worked, never tiring, never losing their power or sound, absolutely fantastic.

Essex went next, they were brilliant and then Ely, oh I’m afraid they were rather good, then magnificently followed by Lincolnshire. Finally Hertfordshire, who really did end the competition ringing on a fantastic level.

The day was drawing to its final leg. The committee sat then returned after discussing next year’s competition and as a great treat, anyone who hadn’t rung were invited to ring the bells and ‘grab’ the tower!

With bands gathered we all entered the church to hear the results. Peterborough Guild Ringing Master Andy Timms duly thanked Canon Michael Webber for the use of Holy Cross Church, Richard Waddy, Tower Captain, for the use of the bells, the magnificent ladies who laid on the splendid teas and Alan Winter, Secretary for The Ridgman Trophy Competition, for bringing the competition to Daventry. Alan Winter thanked the judges, Jeremy and Anne Pratt, enormously and presented them with gifts. 

The winning Ely DA team (clockwise from front right): Henry Pipe,
Susan Marsden, Alban Forster, Hannah Campbell, Alan Winter,
Peter Rogers, Paul Seaman, Phil Wilding, Barry Johnson, Philip George
(photo: Odette Dawkins)
Jeremy then took the floor and described the bells as glorious, how he thoroughly enjoyed listening to them and that the standard of the ringing was much better than 5 years ago when he had last judged this competition. Jeremy finally said that all teams had done very well and concluded that there are 3 golden rules to competition ringing:

1. Know the rules
2. Learn the method
3. Get your leading right

This said, Jeremy carefully summed up all the teams individually. His fellow judge – wife Anne Pratt - then announced the results:

Place Team Rang    Faults
Winner Ely Diocesan Association 6th 21
Second Hertford County Association 7th 32
Third Essex Association 4th 40
Fourth Lincoln Diocesan Guild 6th 42
Fifth Peterborough Diocesan Guild    3rd 62
Sixth Suffolk Guild 2nd 64
Seventh    Bedfordshire Association 1st 68

Jeremy and Anne Pratt present the
Ridgman Trophy to Barry Johnson (Centre)
(photo: Odette Dawkins)
  Ely retained the trophy, well done!! 

Comments heard:

Hertfordshire Ringing Master – very keen to return to Daventry after 10 years, bells can be challenging for a striking competition but a lovely sound and enjoyed the day.

Peterborough Branch Ringing Master (but ringing for Lincolnshire) – a fantastic opportunity to visit and ring the 10 bells; If you can’t enjoy ringing like this then ringing is not for you!

Barry Johnson, Captain of Ely Band – most of us were here to defend our position and to win back the trophy, glad to be taking it home, great bells and enjoyed the day.

Well, what a day, the bells now hanging silent and resting – they really were magnificent and with Ely clutching the trophy all the bands made their weary way home.

Next year it will be over to Great St. Mary’s Church, Cambridge with the chosen method of Yorkshire Surprise Royal.

For me, I would certainly advocate that all learners should come and listen to striking competitions, you hear and learn so much, you can find the drive to keep going through the dark days of clipping bells, leading wrongly, too close, too wide! etc, but you meet so many lovely people, bellringers from all over, it really is worth the effort to get out there and join in.

The Steward's Report, by Marj Winter, is here. More photos, including all the band photos are hereMinutes of the committee meeting are here.

Date for next year’s diary: Sat June 17th 2017 at Great St Mary, Cambridge, ringing Yorkshire Royal.  There is a suggestion to start at 9-00 and finish shortly after noon.
Bedfordshire Association of Church Bell Ringers
Cambridge University Guild of Change Ringers

Essex Association of Change Ringers
Hertford Association of Change-Ringers

Leicester Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers

Lincoln Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers

Norwich Diocesan Association of Ringers

Peterborough Guild of Church Bellringers

Suffolk Guild of Ringers