Branch Striking Competition

Saturday 28th April 2012 at Chinnor

For the second year in a row it was pleasing that four towers were able to enter a band for the striking competition. It was held in the comfortable surroundings of the church at Chinnor where not only were we able to enjoy the well-appointed ringing chamber but also the comfort of the church whilst waiting to ring on a rather cold and damp April evening.

In accordance with the Branch Rules all bands were allowed two minutes of practice followed by the test piece which must start with a minimum of one minute of rounds, followed by 120 rows of call changes or 120 rows of method. The ringing was judged by James and Caroline Stonham from Cuddington. Chinnor held a particular poignancy for James as he learned to ring down the road at Bledlow and recounted how joining the ringers at Chinnor had helped him in his early years of ringing. Both used different marking systems although they had agreed on the order of merit of the bands.

In the order in which the teams rang, they delivered the following results:


Band and Judges comments





Nice opening rounds. A sedate pace with some good tenor ringing. Some of the leading was too quick and this caused some gaps and consequent faults.





This team rang more briskly. They had some good opening rounds and gained in confidence through the piece. Faults were accumulated in the main  through inconsistent leading although the team did ring well together as a band.




Little Milton

Had a sticky patch part of the way through the test piece but commendably  they got things back together and brought their touch to a successful  conclusion.




Drayton St Leonard

This band rang their touch at a consistent pace and also rang together well as a team.




So again the Drayton St Leonard ringers are invited to represent the South Oxon Branch in the Guild Six-Bell Competition on the first Saturday in October.

Whilst the result this year may look very similar to that last year (Drayton St Leonard 1st, Benson 2nd, Little Milton 3rd and Shabbington 4th) I believe that any team who enters a competition and does their best on the day should always be able to see positives in the outcome, whatever it may be. Not least is the desire to improve their striking with the result that their service ringing is also improved, which of course is the primary aim of striking competitions. 

This year there was a step up for the branch in that all the bands were able to ring method for their test piece (last year two bands rang call changes). There is of course nothing inferior in ringing call changes. However change ringing does usually tend to be easier as it is more straightforward to ring precisely the length required and as a general rule it usually produces better striking (at least in this part of the country!).

My thanks to James and Caroline Stonham for giving up their evening to judge the competition, to Chinnor for allowing us to ring, and also to all who took part. I hope we will see this positive trend continue in future years.

John White

Deputy Ringing Master