Ringing Home the Gold

by Gerry Lynch last modified 25 May, 2016 05:55 PM

Diocesan Guild of Ringers wins prestigious competition

Saturday 7 May was a golden day for local campanologists as a team representing the Salisbury Diocesan Guild of Ringers (SDGR) won the prestigious Tewkesbury Shield at a competition in the eponymous Gloucester town.

The SDGR team was one of seven competing for the 44th running of the competition. Comprising ringers from the Dorchester and East Dorset branches, the team organised by Tom Garrett, and coached and conducted by David Warwick over a 6 month period. The test piece was a plain course of Lincolnshire Surprise Royal, which takes about 15 minutes to ring.

On the day, the SDGR team was drawn to ring third, giving them the useful opportunity to listen to the first two teams. This was the first time that several of the ringers had taken part in this competition, and also the first time for some people ringing at the imposing Tewkesbury Abbey. Despite the nerves they completed the test piece successfully, growing in confidence as they went on, but still didn’t expect victory.

“We came down from the tower feeling that at least we hadn’t disgraced ourselves”, was one comment.

So when the judges began their comments by saying the SDGR team had set off with a “completely different pace and style” – they weren’t entirely sure whether this was intended as a compliment! But after a tense wait through the rest of the comments, they were announced as the winners, by a narrow margin over the University of London. Afterwards the judges commented that they could tell that the team had rung together a lot.

The Salisbury Guild will have its name engraved on the trophy which remains in Tewkesbury Abbey, but there is also a second trophy which will be kept locally for the year and this will be on display at the Guild AGM on Saturday 14 May at Devizes.

Learn more about the Salisbury Diocesan Guild of Ringers at www.sdgr.org.uk and about bell-ringing www.bellringing.org.

The winning team, left to right: Hilary Child, David Warwick, Patricia Hitchins, Nigel Woodruff, Angie Jasper, Rob Child, Andy Smith, Flick Warwick, Ben Duke, Tom Garrett.

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