Bell ringers strike it lucky

Bedford's young campanologists enter first competition of its kind in county

A first ever striking competition for Bedfordshire's young

campanologists took place at Campton on Saturday.

Three teams entered the Bedfordshire Association of Church Bell Ringers contest in the hope of lifting the Melville Cup.

Bedford's team finished third, behind winners Biggleswade and second-placed Luton.

Church bell ringing is not often thought of as a competitive sport but striking contests are actually common.

Typically, teams will ring a five-minute test piece while adjudicators assess even spacing of the bells and a steady rhythm. Here, the teams consisted entirely of bell ringers under the age of 18, and they represented the three districts within the Bedfordshire Association's

boundaries.

For most of the ringers this was a daunting prospect, many never having rung before in a competition, or in different towers.

But a ten-minute warm-up seemed to settle most nerves before experienced judge Emma Southerington heard the results of their hard work.

The solid silver trophy was donated and presented by Shelagh Melville.

See also www.bacr.co.uk