The District Striking competition was held at Wilburton on Saturday 7th June. This proved to be a successful evening making good use of the facilities at Wilburton, now that the bells are rung from a gallery. There were four teams in the Call Change section, three tower-based and a scratch band from the Ely DA Young Ringers who are taking part in the Ringing World National Youth Contest in Worcester next month. For the Method section, there was one tower-based band and two scratch bands, one of Young Ringers and one of not-so-young ringers. Tom Ridgman was the judge. He congratulated all the bands on turning out and having a go. He acknowledged that many people find striking competitions stressful, but good striking is important for all the ringing that we do, and actually taking part in a competition gives a useful focus and impetus to practising and concentrating on striking. Tom's comments for all the bands were that the ringers needed to get a grip on the odd-struckness of the 2 and 3, that several errors arose from leading, where there was not a clear handstroke gap and a closed backstroke, and that finding a good speed for the bells was important, with the call change bands tending to rush the bells.
In the call change section, Tom noted that the Stretham band's practice was probably the best ringing of the section, and the test piece by the Young Ringers, who rang last, had prompted a spontaneous round of applause. The bands were placed in the order: Young Ringers, Over, Isleham and Stretham. As a scratch band, the Young Ringers could not win the trophy, but Tom presented the tankard to Rachel Frost, who called the changes for the Young Ringers, who then presented it to Renate Zeigermann who is the newest ringer in the Over band. The wooden spoon, which is normally presented to the last team in the Method section, was presented to Robert Bramley for the Stretham band.
In the Method section, there was only one tower-based band, so winning the trophy was not in doubt, but there was still competition for the order of the bands. The bands were placed in the order: older ringers scratch band, Over, Young Ringers scratch band. The trophy was presented to Edie Robinson for the Over band.
In addition to the striking competition, Ruth Bramley had devised a fiendish photo competition with a set of photos from each of the 28 ringable towers in the district, featuring weather vanes, sundials and clocks. The Young Ringers, working together, scored highest with 9 towers correctly identified, so they were awarded the prize to general applause.
Thanks to Ruth Bramley for the photos.