When it was announced at the AGM at Basingstoke last year that the 1980 competition would be held at Brading, I.O.W., audible groans could be heard. “Too far away” - “Why go overseas?” - On May 17th, however, at Brading, the churchyard was covered by recumbent bodies - sunbathing!
There were five entries for the tower 8-bell competition for the Alec Grey Cup, and keen rivalry produced some good ringing which resulted in Eling being placed first. Winchester Cathedral was second and Portsmouth Cathedral third.
The Inter-District 8-bell Competition for the Arthur and Gilian Davis Shield followed, six teams competing. The (first time) winners were Basingstoke District.
The judge was Rev. Roger Keeley (Salisbury D.G.), who complimented those who took part upon their consistency. Fast ringing was, it seemed, an over-riding criticism, not that it made for bad striking but that it made fault recording more difficult.
After tea, provided by local ladies, Ken Croft (Master), in thanking all concerned for the organisation, said he was sure it had not been a mistake to hold the event on the Isle of Wight.
A competition for a bottle or two raised £8.50 for Guild funds.
The Ringing World No. 3607, June 13, 1980, page 520
The Guild competition was held at St. John’s, Lockerley, on 18th October, and the inclusion of Cmdr. Bill Harris on the organising committee clearly brought this event good luck, in a week of rain, floods and gales. The day was blessed with sunshine throughout and, although the winter chills could be detected, the afternoon was one of those pleasant social occasions, when friends could meet, chat, and criticise the band ringing. An essential ingredient for success is the co-operation of the local ringers, and in Mr. R. Symons we had an organiser supreme. His local band hosted us superbly, while Mrs. Symons and the other ladies produced a memorable tea which left all replete and satiated.
The adjudicator was Mr. Brian Woodruffe, and he complimented the 11 teams on their performances. The standard, he said, ranged from good to very good, and the efforts exerted could almost be sensed from outside the tower. The Guild Master (Mrs. Gilian Davis) thanked all concerned, and particularly welcomed the first participation in Guild competitions by two University teams, the Southampton City Centre band and the band from East Tytherley, led by Alan Barrett. She complimented Mr. John Hartless on his organisation and presented the cup to the winning team from All Saints’, Steep. It was clearly an emotional moment for the captain (Miss Cecily Roberts), whose band entered the competition for the first time in 1978, gained the certificate for effort in 1979 and now became supreme in 1980. It was, as Mr. Woodruffe phrased it, a first-class team performance.
During the afternoon, Mr. D. C. Jackson (dressed suitably for cold weather!) circulated with draw tickets. It was, perhaps, inevitable that Mrs. Symons would win the first prize (brandy), while one of the Steep ringers won a bottle of wine to use in the cup at their next practice night. In the process £9.30 was raised for the Guild Bell Restoration Fund.
The top four teams, with first-class, outstanding ringing, were: 1st, Steep (89%); 2nd, Winchester Cathedral (81%); 3rd, Binsted (76%); 4th, Clatford (73%).
D. C. J.
The Ringing World No. 3631, November 28, page 1028