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Young bellringers go bellistic in Worcester

by Michael Ford last modified 22 Oct, 2021 04:13 PM

"Great day! Wonderful time! Brilliant day!" Just some of the comments from the teenaged ‘Go Bellistic’ team as they visited Worcester for the annual Ringing World National Youth Contest (RWNYC).

Our correspondent Bellistic Bertie reports:  

"Wow - that WAS a busy day! After 18 months of reduced ringing opportunities, I think we may have lost some of our stamina!  

"On Saturday 11th September 2021 nine young ringers plus parents, grandparents, supporters, two motor homes and a large dog gathered in Worcester for the RWNYC 2021. 

"Bertie the mascot, Rob and I popped over to the cathedral after breakfast to pick up extra wristbands and programmes and take a few photos, then we were off. Everyone met up at Barbourne, where we exchanged travel tales (Matt: 'We've been travelling for three days, six hours and 17 minutes and it feels like we've been travelling forever') and some people changed into their new polo shirts behind gravestones.  

"We had been given a schedule of towers to visit, but despite this there was a queue and so we were only able to have a quick ring. 

"Then it was back into Worcester to report to St Martin’s in the Cornmarket for our competition piece. After some squad photos and a 5-minute practice, the test piece of 160 changes (about 8 minutes of ringing) was completed without incident. 

"We then whizzed off to Claines... followed by Hallow. 

"Back into the city again, for the highlight of the day - a ring at Worcester Cathedral. 

"It was a long climb up and, on the way, we marvelled at the teaching centre (complete with eight dumbbells) which is situated in the clock room below the ringing room. 

"We rang with the Kent Young Ringers and Mark Regan (Ringing Master at the cathedral) organised every-one, making sure that all the young ringers had several goes at ringing rounds. 

"Everyone did themselves proud: Ellana, Connie and Annabel managed well on the front bells (big pull on the handstroke and hold up); Pippa rose to the occasion at her very first 'big' tower... Ben dealt effortlessly with a bell that other young ringers had struggled with; Robert confidently rang a variety of bells and in one touch Max P, William and Alfie were seen ringing 10, 11 and 12.  

"Even the adults managed not to disgrace themselves and Karen (Robert‘s mum) impressed by ringing the tenor.  

"Our final tower of the day was All Saints, Worcester. 

"The young ringers rang Plain Hunt whilst the adults collapsed into the pews with cups of tea. 

"We returned to the cathedral precinct for the results in College Hall. Due to Covid restrictions only the young ringers and two 'responsible adults' per group were allowed in, but people outside were kept up to date by the organisers and WhatsApp messages.  

"As David Hull (RWNYC organiser) said: 'The enthusiastic manner in which every team was clapped on and off the stage as they received their medals was truly heartwarming, and a clear indication of just how supportive our young ringers are of their peers.' We had taken part in the Call Changes competition with 14 other teams and had rung on 8 bells. For this year only, teams had been able to ring on 6 bells and nine of the teams had chosen to do this. So, we were relatively content to be placed fourth out of the six 8-bell teams. 

"Following the results, there was a social evening. Not everyone was able to stay, but those who did enjoyed pizza (100+ Domino‘s pizzas delivered by a perplexed taxi driver) and games on College Green. Pippa joined the Kent Young Ringers and the W&P Youths in an enthusiastic game of rounders/ cricket, which we somehow ended up sitting in the middle of, but we survived unscathed.  

"We are already looking forward to next year's event which will be in Exeter on 2nd July 2022. As ever, if you know of any young ringers who would like to get involved in our activities, please put them in touch with Sue Carter or myself. And if you would like to support young ringers across the country, visit which is the website of the Young Change Ringers Association." 

Read the full piece here. 

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