Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers

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The Minnie Mouse (Minimus) Competition

Six bands met at Newbold Pacey on September 6th to compete for the Minnie Mouse (Minimus) Striking Competition. Six teams took part, which is an indication that this event is not for anoraks (!) and that it really is fun. It was also interesting to see how much the hedges and trees had grown since I took the photo that appeared on the July front cover!

I'd not rung at Newbold Pacey since about 1996, so wanted to confirm that the bells – all cast by Michael Bushell of Evesham in 1707 – were as good as I recalled. Things fade or amplify with time! All the bells are maidens, ie never been tuned since being broken out from the moulds, so errors in note can be expected. It was very pleasing to hear that they sounded good, in fact very good. Yes, the treble sounded fractionally sharp, but it gives a bright start to the rounds.

As reported in the July Newsletter, there are plans to augment to 5. Hopefully the new treble will be cast to the same profiles as the others, and hopefully its note will be slightly sharp to coincide with the present treble. Perhaps the founder could try their hand at casting a maiden bell to fit….. Please, please do not retune the present four: please leave them as maidens as an excellent tribute to Michael Bushell.

"The Committee" team was again defending its position as winner of last (and previous) year's Competition. El Presidente was wheeled in to fill one of the slots in the team, so we knew things were going to be OK.

The Committee team with Trophy L-R:
Michael, John, Peter, Chris

In the event, "The Committee" team did win, but by only the faintest of whiskers, so we know the time is coming when we shall be toppled from this position. It's about time it happened! The team led by Richard L-S came second. The judge was John Wheeler from Wellesbourne.

We don't know yet where next year's Minimus Competition will be held, but there will be a Competition. Please come to it, wherever it is, because (a) it really is a lot of fun, and (b) the "Committee Team" is waiting for a team to knock it off its long-held perch!

It's a happy little event. Do give it a try next year.

Chris Povey