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.

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