Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers

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Three intrepid teams met at Cold Aston of 14th August to battle for the 'Mini-Mouse' Trophy. A 4th team had been expected, but they had to cancel. Was it the strength of the opposition that caused this, one wonders?

Cold Aston are a pretty little 5. They go well and sound clearly: ideal for a Striking competition. The weather was ideal for a competition, too: nicely warm and sunny. The tower captain, Roger Jones, welcomed us.

The competition had been organised most ably by Peter Quinn, Guild Master. The judge was Robert Robinson from Stoneleigh. The three teams competing were: 'The Committtee', 'Moreton Wellingtons', and 'Wellesbourne'. Two scratch teams were formed: 'Cold Aston Scratch' and 'Welford & Friends'.

The order of ringing was easily decided: the first team with all its members present would ring first! This was 'The Committee'. The Rules were simple: 3 minutes practice and then ring 5 plain courses of Bob Minimus. The rounds before and after weren't marked. 'The Committee' rang well, considering none ring together normally.

Next in to ring was 'Wellesbourne'. Another pleasant piece resulted. 'Moreton Wellingtons' were next. They decided a Minimus competition should be on 4 bells, so they rang just the back 4. Unfortunately, things didn't hang together well and Richard L-S stood it up. Next on were the two scratch teams. 'Cold Aston Scratch' was headed by Richard L-S, who was clearly anxious to see his earlier choice of 'Minimus on 4 bells' properly come to fruition. He chose his band accordingly. The resulting piece was very nice. 'Welford & Friends' was the final team, who completed their piece without major upset.

Robert, the judge, then gave us his results. He placed the teams as follows:-

  1. Cold Aston Scratch
  2. The Committee
  3. Wellesbourne
  4. Welford & Friends
  5. Moreton Wellingtons

Richard's decision to ring just the back 4 triumphed in the end.

Robert was then to present the Mini-Mouse Trophy to the winning band, but . . . nobody had brought it! Furthermore, nobody knew who'd got it. Yes, it had been returned from Stratford tower, where it had been resident for the last 14 years, but where from there? Richard solved the mystery by phoning Sophia, who confirmed it was with her. No problem with ensuring it went to the right home, then!

To round off the competition properly and traditionally, it was down to 'The Plough' - and a delightful venue that proved to be, too! All-in-all, a most enjoyable event.

The winning team:-
Michael Cummings, Michael Dane, Andrew Gunn, Richard L-S.