London 12 bell 2012

This year the London 12 bell striking competition was hosted on the, well, awkward bells of St John’s, Croydon “Croydon Minister”, and the test piece was a fairly simple two courses of Stedman Cinques. I remember it being a really cold morning, but not sure whether there actually was snow…  Just before the draw Shirley McGill gave a notice that beer was not to be consumed outside the church hall as the local police had already ranked this area as one of the highest for antisocial behaviour. Thankfully we were allocated the third slot; however a hard core group (Olly, Martin, Dr G, and Mary) had already been to the bar by 11.05…

We rang; reasonably well and as usual ringing took place with military precision, one team, next team then Lunch… Hoorary! This also gave Lizzy a break from cooking, which caused her “breasts to smell like bacon”-yum! There was a short intermission of complete disarray, when one very smartly dressed person arrived thinking there was a wedding at the Church today… Er no! Then a whole group turned up thinking the same thing but were persuaded it actually wasn’t right!

Eventually all the teams had rung, and after an extended waiting time forcing us to drink more beer the results were announced as follows:

Position Team Mark Speed
1 St Paul’s Cathedral 85% 3h47
2 St Michael’s Cornhill 84% 3h45
3 Ancient Society of College Youths 80% 3h48
4 Southwark Cathedral 1 70% 3h40
5 St Martin-in-the-Fields 68% 3h40
6 Society of Royal Cumberland Youths 67.5% 3h36
7 University of London Society of Change Ringers 66% 3h41
8 Middlesex County and London Diocesan Guild 65.5%
9 South Croydon 56.5% 3h36
10 Southwark Cathedral 2 55% 3h35

London 12 bell 2012After finishing the beer left in the church hall we all migrated to the ringers local, The Green Dragon, were the upstairs had been booked and a secret password “bellringer” given that allowed a 10% discount before 9. Everything seemed to be going along alright, and thankful “The Dust” didn’t push Naked Simon down the stairs…

The bar staff seemed to think otherwise, and found various people to target; Maynard, Ryan, Simon and I were among the list of had too much beer and should leave. This didn’t go down well and we were placed under surveillance until departure. The train journey was a classic variety of UL misbehaviour including the president pretending to be a suitcase (see facebook for full details) and Lizzy…

I would like to thank everyone who rang (above), the Croydon Ringers for arranging everything, Heather for getting some practices, and the supporters!

Andrew Hills