The Essex Association of Change Ringers   President: The Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Chelmsford

Essex Young Eagles teenage bell ringers join National Youth Contest in Worcester

A squad of 9 teenage bell ringers from across Essex will journey to Worcester this Saturday to take part in the 10th Ringing World National Youth Contest. Teams will compete for the coveted Whitechapel Trophy and the Ringing World Editor’s Trophy for Excellence. The headquarters for the day will be Worcester Cathedral; the contests will take place at All Saints and Old St Martin’s. The contest is open to bands comprising ringers aged under 19 on 31st August 2021.

The band of teenagers representing Essex, called the Essex Young Eagles, have entered a band in all ten of the competitions to date. Their best result was when the competition was last held at Worcester in 2014 where they came 2nd in the Call Change category (out of 10 in that category).

Over the last 10 competitions (there was no competition last year due to Covid) the squad has travelled to London, Birmingham, York, Worcester, Oxford, London, Birmingham, London, Liverpool, and again this year Worcester. This year, because of the Covid-19 situation over the last 18 months, there are just 9 in the squad – 8 plus 1 reserve. The Essex Young Eagles ringers practices are open to ringers 25 years and under but the RWNYC competition rules only those ringers under 19 years of age can participate.

Normally the build-up to the competition is through the monthly young ringers practices. In the month before the competition there is usually a dedicated practice and a mini-outing (3 towers) on similar weight bells to the competition tower. Much depends on the band availability and on one occasion the only time they practiced together was at a specially arranged tower on the day of the competition. This year they have only had the chance to practice together as a band the week before.

The focus on competition day has predominately been on the competition with a number of towers open for general ringing during the day in the close vicinity and has usually included a 12-bell tower/Cathedral/16 at the Bullring/York Minster – definitely big attractions. Various other activities are included regularly e.g. a mini ring, handbells and other ideas tried have included focussed method ringing at open towers and a 12-bell workshop. This year’s competition will also see the launch of a Young Change Ringers Association, organised, led and run by young people, for young people.

We wish our squad the best of luck. If you want to learn more about young ringers, see links below.

For more information:
Ringing World National Youth Contest
Essex Young Eagles
The Ringing World
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

Vicki Chapman
Communications Officer

(Tuesday 7 September 2021)

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