Striking Competition and a St. James’ Day Peal

Name of walk Striking Competition and a St. James' Day Peal
Date of walk 2015-07-25

On Friday night the Furness and South Lakes Branch of the Lancashire Association of Change Ringers held their annual Six Bell Striking Competition at St George’s Church in Millom this year, and an excellent venue it turned out to be! Then on Saturday afternoon there was a peal of Yorkshire Surprise Major to celebrate St. James’ Day at St. James’ Church Barrow.


St George's Church Millom was built in 1877 and has a ring of six bells.


The left side of the church contains a social area and kitchen.



On the left is a memorial window to Norman Nicholson, a local poet who died in 1987. It was designed by Christine Boyce, inserted in 2000 and includes depictions of a bee orchid, a bloody cranesbill, Halley's Comet, and quotations from Nicholson's work.


While each team took their turn to ring, everyone else passed their time by eating, drinking, socialising and completing the quiz. This year Keith had written a quiz about Historical Anniversaries.


Some of the Barrow Team. The two younger members of our quiz team, Rachel and Lucy, considered 1975 to be 'Ancient History'!




The historical brains of the Barrow Team, Ken and Gwyn, relaxing in the pews. Gwyn has plenty of experience at this, as he used to be Vicar at Kirkby.


The Dalton Team had a serious advantage in the quiz, as Stan had been witness to most of the historical events covered.


I must remember to ask Stan if he kept up his longbow skills after Agincourt.



Alan and Barrow Tower Captain, Andy.


The Millom ladies, who had worked very hard to prepare the food and drink. Each team also helps out by providing a pudding. There are always lots of puddings! Barrow's contribution was an excellent alcoholic trifle made by Sue, most definitely the highlight of my evening....hic! Plus I had made a strawberry and banana crumble, picking the strawberries from my garden that very morning!


Our host, Jeg the Millom Tower Captain, sat to the left of Keith. Johnny tackling the desserts.


Margaret with Linda being her usual shy and retiring self.


Ian, Margaret and Alan making up half the Ulverston Team.


The Bowness Team minus Anne and Keith.


The Flookburgh Team.


The Barrow 1 Team containing learners that rang rounds and call changes. Enormous thanks to Dave the timekeeper who took all the team photos too.


The Barrow 2 Team that rang Stedman Doubles. If you replace Johnny with Carl we suddenly become the Dalton Team who came third last year! Ringers are very interchangeable!


This year's Dalton Team, looking much like the Barrow 2 Team, but not quite as pretty!


Given the 'age advantage' within the Dalton Team, it was no surprise that they won the quiz! Barrow came a respectable joint second with Flookburgh. Quiz master Keith with Barry Brown the ringing judge. Barry came all the way from Ansty in Leicestershire.


Barry gives the ringing results. Dalton come first, and will be insufferable for weeks to come as a consequence! Closely followed by Bowness in 2nd, Barrow 2 in 3rd, Ulverston in 4th, Barrow 1 in 5th and Flookburgh 6th. There were also two Scratch Teams that rang. These were put together to allow ringers like Dave the timekeeper and Jeg, the Millom Tower Captain, who had no teams, to get a ring; but because the make up of the teams contravened the competition rules, they were not allowed to win the competition, but did have their ringing scored. Both Scratch Teams beat Dalton's score, which may help to temper their smugness! An excellent evening was had by all.


On Saturday, St James' Day, Andy had organised a Peal of Yorkshire Surprise Major to be rung at St. James' Church in the afternoon, and be dedicated to the memory of Mona Tomlinson, a church warden, who had died aged 88 on July 4th.


Andy, the St James' Tower captain, had also organised an expert band from near and far to take part. I remained in the church to be joined at various stages by fellow ringers, Ken, Sue and Geoff, to keep an eye on things. There is a camera in the belfry and the ringing room. The church was open for any curious visitors. Andrew Deakin was also here doing some recording.


Close up of the ringing room during the peal.


The peal lasted three hours and five minutes, but there are plenty of things to look at in the church itself in order to pass the time, plus I'd brought along my Kindle.


Photos of the church after it was hit by a bomb in World War Two.


The successful peal ringers, still amazingly coherent after their efforts: Helen Midwood, Alison Brooke, Ann Thompson, Rob Pettifor, Simon Woof, Patrick Brooke, Roger Fellows, Andy Pollock (C). It was Andy's first peal as Conductor, Roger's first peal and Ann's 300th for LACR.


After the peal some of us went to the Red Lion in Dalton for a meal.


We were also joined by ringer Anne Pettifor, after officiating at her first wedding since her ordination.



You would think that I would have had enough of desserts after the Striking Competition.....nah!

Two highly memorable ringing occasions, both involving desserts, what could be better?