Photos 2009The Ridgman TrophyTen Bell Striking Competition 2009

The Ridgman Trophy is a 10-bell striking competition in honour of William J Ridgman, past president of the CUGCR and past General Secretary of the Ely DA. This year's competition was hosted by the Hertford County Association on a lovely sunny Saturday afternoon at Rickmansworth, a fairly nice sounding 10 but with enough odd struckness in most of the bells to challenge the mettle of all the participating teams and described by one of the judges as a typical Hertfordshire ring. Although, Bill Ridgman couldn't be present at the competition this year, it was nice to see him represented by his son Tom.

The judges for this year's competition were Alan Regin and Simon Rudd, and an excellent job they did too. The judges had a chance to ring the bells beforehand to a plain course of Stedman Caters and so as well as noting the odd struckness of the bells they commented on the 'interesting' climb up into the ringing chamber (more like a substantial ladder than just a steep staircase). The test piece was 209 changes of Stedman Caters (1, 6, 8s, 16/ 1s, 4, 6, 7, 10, 12, 17), a nice composition with a number of 6, 8, 10s and both front and back bell forward and reverse rollups.

The brief comments from the judges were as follows:
  • Team 1 An unsteady start which improved, 8 & 9 tended to push at hand causing a few of the faults
  • Team 2 Similar 8 & 9 handstroke problem coupled with slightly delayed tenor backstrokes, last 6 sixes particularly well rung
  • Team 3 Set the best tenor beat, good team ringing, slightly more edgy than their confident practice
  • Team 4 The word "brinkmanship" came to mind as they entered into changes with five seconds to spare causing a slightly unsettling effect to the start
  • Team 5 Steadiest pace of the teams so far but still some problems with tenor backstrokes and a small method mistake around the 6th and 7th sixes but the ringing brightened up following a good recovery
  • Team 6 Opening rounds in the practice looked like this band would nail it but actual test piece became one of an unfulfilled promise
Results were:
Place Team Rang Peal Speed Faults
Winner Bedfordshire Association 4th 3h03 69 faults
Second Essex Association 3rd 3h03 90 faults
Third Peterborough Guild 6th 3h13 111 faults
Fourth Hertford County 7th 3h13 120 faults
Fifith Ely Association 5th 3h00 129 faults
Sixth Cambridge University 2nd 3h01 130 faults
The Suffolk Guild entered a team, ringing first, but did not complete the test piece.

Photos of the bands are here.
Barry D Mack
(Published in Ringing World 5123-0693)