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SE District Striking Competition

A glorious Spring afternoon in the Suffolk countryside with the prospect of listening to some pleasant bells. This was Brandeston on Saturday 10th May where seven bands from the SE District gathered for the annual striking competition. The draw was at 2pm and (after the usual haggling over position because of weddings and other reasons) once the order was settled and the judge installed away from distractions, the ringing commenced. The bands followed one another quite smoothly with just a brief pause between each one to enable ringers to get up and down the ladder to the gallery ringing chamber. Those not ringing spent the time catching up with one another, inspecting the interesting church building or just taking the sun in the well-kept churchyard and listening to the bells being rung to Call-Changes, Doubles and Minor.

At the end of ringing, tea was taken in the village hall, just a minute’s walk across a meadow. The recently built hall is a wonderful village facility and the Brandeston ringers had laid on a tea to match the surroundings, a truly magnificent spread.

After tea, the District Chairman welcomed everyone and thanked the Brandeston ringers for making us so welcome. There was just one new member to elect, Ruth Darton, from Brandeston, and then it was on to the results that we were all waiting for. Our judge was Michael Clements from Norwich, who started by saying he had been impressed with the standard of ringing he had heard and had enjoyed the afternoon. He then gave us his comments, band by band. These were constructive and helpful, but he did not hesitate to point out any blemishes. He then gave us the number of faults for each band as follows:

1st St Mary-le-Tower 12 faults
2nd Grundisburgh 23 faults
3rd Pettistree A 25 faults
4th Offton 43 faults
5th Sproughton 60 faults
6th Debenham 66 faults
7th Pettistree B 69 faults

The chairman invited a representative of the St Mary-le-Tower band to receive the trophy, to a round of applause. Mike Clements was thanked for his efforts during the afternoon and presented with the gift of a couple bottles of wine. News of forthcoming activities was passed on to the members present and the meeting was declared closed at the end of a very pleasant afternoon.

Peter Harper