The South Branch heat of the six-bell striking competition was held at Goostrey on Saturday the 21st of April.  Four towers entered the heat with the draw taking place at 15:30.  The bands and the order in which the competed was; Congleton, Holmes Chapel, Nantwich and Goostrey, with the bands opting to ring; Plain Bob Doubles, Grandsire Doubles, Call changes and Call changes, respectively.  The competition was judged by David Jones of Neston in Wirral Branch.

The day was blessed with glorious weather so that the competing bands (when not ringing), their supporters and the Judge enjoyed a pleasant afternoon listening to the ringing.  The competition was completed by 16:45 after which the Goostrey band provided a very enjoyable tea at the local School Hall.  The judge gave his comments and announced the results at 17:15 and the winning team was congratulated and given the shield at 17:30.  Afterwards there was some open ringing with the event ending at 18:00.

A summary of David Jones’ comments and the results are as follows:

General comments – All teams found the bells challenging particularly struggling with the striking of the middle bells, making the choice of St. Luke’s appropriate for such a competition heat.

Band 1 (Congleton) struggled more in the practice but settled better in the test piece, making most of their errors in the middle section.

Band 2 (Holmes Chapel) demonstrated a quick confident practice struggling more in the test piece with most faults occurring due to the rhythm of the middle bells.

Band 3 (Nantwich) struggled with the rhythm with a notable cluster of faults in part of their test piece.

Band 4 (Goostrey) demonstrated a good practice but slowed down at the start of their test piece.  Their ringing speeding up towards the end with the second half providing the best ringing of the day.

The results are summarised in the table below:

CongletonHolmes ChapelNantwichGoostrey
Plain bob doublesGrandsire doublesCall changesCall changes
1Carole PotterJohn F MurfinNicola BasfordJackie Flanders
2Caroline M Beckett (visitor)William HallAlice LeethamThomas Nestor
3Les ShentonDavid J PhillipsElvina AthertonUrsula Harris
4John H Gibb (C)Jonathan M D CopleyDenis TaylorMike C E Hodge
5Peter J LawrenceMervyn J Harrison (C)Yvonne Herbert-JacksonGeorge Robey (C)
6Robert F HollowayDerek R CopleyGeorge Basford (C)Derek Holborow
Result3rd place
(69 faults)
2nd place
(53 faults)
4th place
(73 faults)
1st place
(49 faults)

Based on these results Goostrey should go forward to represent the South Branch at the District final later in the year.  Our thanks go to David Jones for judging, and to the Goostrey band for the their ringing skills, and providing the venue and afternoon tea, making this a very enjoyable event.