Ridgman Trophy Ten Bell Striking Competition 2003

7th June at Saltby

The 2003 Ridgman Trophy Competition, held at Saltby on Saturday 7th June, was hosted by last year's victors, the Leicester Diocesan Guild. The test piece was again Stedman Caters, 303 changes, and the first team, representing the Bedfordshire Association, were all present and correct at the appointed hour, so the ringing got off to a prompt start, although not before the judges were given the opportunity to try the bells. These are a tuneful light 10, rung from the ground floor and proved to be a worthy setting for the competition.

Early competitors found a counter attraction in progress in the form of a vintage car rally, which saw a constant procession of venerable (and immaculate) motor vehicles arriving at the crossroads at which the church stands. The natural tendency of ringers to give free directions, solicited or no, was amply demonstrated to those car drivers unfortunate enough to display any hesitancy as to which route to take at the church. Just like ringing really!!

All six competing bands gave a very creditable performance, and in their opening remarks the two judges, the Revd Brian Harris and Neil Donovan, expressed the view that the standard set by all the bands was very high and the competition had been a very close one. Strangely, the time taken to ring the test touch had decreased band by band, starting at 11 min 46 sec for the first team to 10 min 40 sec for the last team, the Cambridge University Guild, who were adjudged the winners, with the Leicester Guild runners-up.

After a splendid tea at the 'Crown' at nearby Sproxton, and the declaration of the results by the judges, the trophy was presented by Bill Ridgman to Nik Baxter, Master of the CUGCR amidst applause. Ian Holland then gave a vote of thanks to the judges and to Gail Wade and the Leicester Guild for their arrangements.

This was the fifteenth Ridgman Trophy competition, and certainly one of the more successful. The date for next year's competition is Saturday June 5th 2004 - please make a note in your diary now, and if you were not there this year, don't miss out next time!!

Ian Holland
(Published in the Ringing World, issue 4813, page 705)