The South Branch heat of the six-bell striking competition was held at St. Leonard’s Warmingham on Saturday the 16th March.  Three towers, and a ‘scratch’ team entered the heat with the draw taking place at 15:00h.  The bands and the order in which the competed was; The ‘scratch’ team, Holmes Chapel, Nantwich, Sandbach, with the bands opting to ring; Plain Bob Doubles, Grandsire Doubles, Call Changes and Plain Bob Doubles, respectively.  The competition was judged by Duncan and Kath Matheson of Pott Shrigley in East Branch.

Despite inclement weather conditions, the event was well-attended and the hot tea and cakes in the church, provided by the local ringers and their families, was very much appreciated.  The competition ringing was completed by 16:15h after which the judges gave their comments and announced the results.  The winning team was congratulated and presented with the shield after which the meeting transferred to Sandbach for open ringing and ended at 18:30h. 

A summary of Duncan’s and Kath’s comments and the results are as follows:

General comments: The overall quality of the ringing of all the bands was good.  The marking was based on half faults for minor and full faults for major clips or gaps in the ringing.

The results are summarized in the table below:

South Branch 6-bell 2019 competition results

Specific comments:
Band 1: Displayed a slow pace with some rushed leading achieving some clean rows throughout their test piece.
Band 2: Demonstrated a quicker more confident pace with steady leading, although sometimes rushed, achieving overall a good quality.
Band 3: Rang call changes with the fastest pace of ringing of all the teams. Their ringing quality was generally good but the team struggled after some changes with uneven ringing that took several blows to steady.
Band 4: Demonstrated a slightly slower pace with some rushed leads but generally displayed a good quality of ringing.  There was an error 3/4 of the way through which they managed to recover from to successfully finish their test piece.

Based on these results Holmes Chapel will go forward to represent the South Branch at the District final later in the year.  Our thanks go to Duncan and Kath Matheson for judging, to Warmingham for providing the venue and afternoon tea and Sandbach for the use of their bells after the competition, making this a very enjoyable event.

Peter Lawrence
(Ringing Master)