Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers

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Minimus Striking Competition report, Salford 8th September

St Mary the Virgin, Salford, Oxon

The Minimus Competition took place in lovely sunny evening weather on the delightful light 5 at St Mary the Virgin's Church, Salford, Oxon.

The event attracted six teams this year, which was twice as many as last year. The event is essentially a fun event, with simple rules. There's no rising or falling involved. Nonetheless, the judging must be even and fair, as there is a trophy to be awarded. John Carroll did an extremely good job in this respect: thanks, John.

The 2011 winners, 'The Committee' team, faced stiff opposition this year, as Mickleton fielded a team. Further opposition came from Moreton and Wellesbourne, and two teams composed from those attending. Benjamin Lewis-Skeath, who is probably the Guild's youngest member, assembled one of these, the 'BJ and the ringing band' team. In all, about 18 members took part.

The Minimus ('Minnie Mouse') Trophy

The draw for position put Wellesbourne into ring first; then Moreton, 'the Committee', a 'scratch 'band, Mickleton and the 'BJ and the ringing band'. Three minutes were allowed for a practice, then five plain courses of Minimus (120 changes) for the test piece. As might be imagined, it didn't take long to get through all six teams. Some teams decided to ring just four bells instead of five, but this was entirely valid for a Minimus competition!

We congregated in the Church for the results from John, and his placing was as follows:-

1  The Committee	    8 faults
2  Mickleton		    12 faults
3  BJ and the ringing band  22 faults
4  Moreton		    24 faults
5  Scratch		    26 faults
6  Wellesbourne		    27 faults

"The Committee" therefore retained the Minimus Striking Competition trophy, but only by a very small margin. Had Mickleton included its full fire-power in their team, the result could well have been different.

Sophia L-S accepting
the trophy from John.

The best bit? Probably Benjamin L-S, when he realised his team had done quite well and then exclaimed in total astonishment, 'I've beaten my dad's team!!' Priceless! Sorry Richard; it's what happens eventually. Been there, had that…

This Competition is a delightful event. It doesn't take long to get through, so there's little hanging around. It's nicely simple, too. Give it a try next year (which might be on a genuine ring of 4).

Chris Povey