Call change ringing resources

News Archive

The tabs below give the news updates from the year selected.

Update! December 1st 2008

The sixth season that the Devon Ringing League has focussed on has come to an end. The final tables for the season have been published, and so the annoucement of the winners of the league for the seaon 2008 can be revealed - but not here! Click on the league and stats button for the complete rundown.

The records page will be updated slightly later in the month once I've worked out all the stats ;) Hopefully, I'll be able to do this faster in the future as I'm banging everything into a gurt big database. Now where did I put all the results from 2004...

Update! November 11th 2008

The records and stats page is now up to date. It didn't take quite as long as I thought it might...

Update! November 10th 2008

"...the league for 2008 has started and will be updated at least once a fortnight..."

Some of you will remember me saying this at the other end of the season (check below!), and I apologise for not keeping my word. However I can say with absolute certainty that the league is fully up to date as of today! I'll get round to doing the stats page in the very near future....
Terms and conditions apply - the very near future could be any time over the next 12 months. I'm making no promises after last time.

I'll also be taking down the cool wall soon in preperation for imminent start of the Devon Association Ringing Ladder - a new(ish) concept in competition ringing. As I've agreed to help to maintain that, I'll be sticking more information on to this site as well as my normal gubbins.

Update! May 12th 2008

The cool wall is now up and will be updated as I ring at more towers...

...And the league for 2008 has started and will be updated at least once a fortnight, although it does depend on how many competitions there are to update for the records page.

Update! December 7th 2009

The results from the six bell competitions at Stratton and Kilkhampton are in and so the winners of the Devon Ringing League for 2009 can be revealed:

5 or more competitions league: Plymouth, Eggbuckland - Their fifth win in seven seasons and first since 2006.

All-comers league: Devon Belles - Their third win in six seasons and the first succesful defence of the title.

Update! December 4th 2009

It's been a few weeks I know, but I'm back with a biggie. This week's update sees the latest results from the ladder put up, the ladder tables and archive updated to use the same drop down menus as I've already put into the DRL section and a mammoth update to the DRL records/statistics pages. The records main page has been rearranged so you can now select either an entire category and see all the top 25s on one page or you can select an individual record and see the top 100 for those! The records page is now linked to the database so as soon as I put new results in, the stats are updated. Therefore the stats are as of now always up-to-date and you don't have to wait for me to get round to updating them.

The results from the 8 bell competitions at Kilkhampton and Stratton are in, but since I'm still waiting on the results from the 6 bell competitions I'm not officially going to announce the winners of DRL 2009 until I get them. Chances are that the top places aren't going to change, but you never know...

Update! November 12th 2009

It's just a couple of days before the Devon Association's AGM, where the venues for next year's big competitions will be decided, but the ringing season still continues. I've added three more competitions into the league database and this has pushed the number of teams in the five or more table up to 34 for the first time ever. Also there's a result for the new season in the ringing ladder, just when you thought we'd forgotten about it!

Update! October 22nd 2009

The first of a few big updates is now live - the all new DRL archive in the league pages. Basically, as sort-of outlined in the last update (see below), I'm now using an online database instead of Access which means that instead of me having to cut and paste the tables on to the web pages, the league tables are generated directly from the online database when you look at one of the league table pages. So now the table you see will always be the most up to date version, although that assumes that I've put the latest results in. Since the league tables are generated straight from the results and they are all in the database, I've also made the results selectable from the archive pages, as promised. Yipee for technology!

One last note, if you've bookmarked the DRL home page then you'll need to update that as the address is slightly different.

Comments, suggestions or any other feedback can be emailed to webmaster[at]myconid[dot]co[dot]uk.

Update! October 12th 2009

I suppose I aught to apologise for keeping you all on tenter hooks as to what is going on with the DRL, but there is a very good reason/excuse as to why I've been a little bit behind which I'll tell you if you'll let me. You won't? Tough, I'm going to tell you anyway.

It all started about 18 months ago (this may get needlessly Shandian - hold on tight!) when I entrusted the running of the DRL to Access instead of Excel. As I explained at the time, I did it to make the whole business of keeping the records and stats up to date a whole lot easier. This was all fine and dandy whilst my home PC was behaving itself - but then it decided that it wasn't going to run Windows any more and I had to change my OS (to Ubuntu for those who like to know these things) to get anything to work at all. Of course this means I automatically lost MS office, which is no great shame, but it meant I was left with a database that I could only run when I was at work - not much good to man nor beast that. So anyway, I remember threatening to start running the whole shooting match, ladder included, online. As a direct consequence of the loss of Windows at home and the comparative lack of time at work to deal with the website I have actually taken the leap to make this promise a reality. This has meant I have needed to a) learn a new programming language so the web can connect to a database, b) learn a new database system that doesn't depend on me having Wind'ohs and c) transfer all the data from Access to said online database. So that has taken a fair amount of time where I would normally have been doing this. All this should mean that, in the near future, I don't have to keep updating several web pages every time a new set of results come in and just let my code do it for me - clever huh?

I'm running a few preliminary test pages and they seem to be behaving themselves, meaning in a couple of months I'll try the whole site. One last point on this nonsense, I'm hoping to make it possible for the results of all the competitions that I have the results for available for your perusal. There's an unexpected bonus for us all, eh?

Update! August 12th 2009

I'm back and ready for action! The latest updates include an update to the ladder, as two more results have come in. Additionally to this there is the usual DRL changes, new competitions include: Dunsford, Doddiscombsleigh, Torridge Valley Guild at Great Torrington, Burrington and Widecombe in the Moor. The Shebbear results will come in the next update along with the Lydford and Bridestowe competitions and the resurrected Meavy and Sheepstor events.

Update! July 17th 2009

I'm a few days late putting this lot up but never mind, better late than never. Anyway the usual updates for the DRL pages are up for all competitions up to and including the Stoke Gabriel and Art Seymour competitions. I've also moved a number of the more recent updates to the archive. There won't be any updates for the next few weeks as I'm off getting married...

Update! June 29th 2009

As you may expect, I've updated all the league tables and ladder tables for the results that have come in. The league now includes results from the Beric Bartlett, Eggbuckland and the Major Final. Which brings me onto my next point: I wasn't at the Major Final this year, but have since looked over the results as published and one thing strikes me as very odd. One of the judges (who shall be nameless here) had South Brent to win when the other three had South Brent down as having at least twice as many faults as Eggbuckland, the eventual winners. This suggests that said judge was not marking the peal's striking as such either that or he had fallen asleep! Having done some basic analysis of the results, it appears that this may have skewed the results in some way, and it has to be said that this is not the first time this season that this has occurred. A similar thing happened at the 8 bell Final where one judge (not the same person) marked the peals so that the order was very different to that of the other judges, again skewing the results. In this case the team I was ringing for benefited from this, so I kept schtum at the time. However since I'm a neutral observer in the case of the Major Final, I feel that I can bring this up. I believe that there is a simple way of preventing this skewing of the results and here is the idea. As there are four judges at the 'big' events we can simply discard the highest and lowest marks and take the average of the two remaining results, then if any one judge marks a team too heavily or too lightly they have no bearing on the result. This is the same idea as was used in ice skating and so I can't take too much credit for it, but nevertheless it would avoid this ridiculous situation we have where one judge can seriously change the result of a competition, like the two instances given above. Rant over - normal service to be resumed on the next update (unless, of course, something else gets up my nose). Any comments? Send them to webmaster[at]myconid[dot]co[dot]uk...

Update! March 11th 2009

There's a cosmetic update for the stats pages for your delectation today. That and all the top tens have been replaced with top twenty fives, more stats means more pages! Each section of the stats is now on a seperate page so you don't have to scroll through loads of stuff if you want to see just the team records. Time to start working on the bit for the ringing ladder which has started as of this month...

Update! January 21st 2009

I've found the missing memory stick so now everything is hunky dory again, and yes I've backed up the data. I've updated all the stats to reflect the corrected tables - and all the new tables should be up as well. You may have noticed that the cool wall buttons have bitten the dust.

Update! January 20th 2009

First the big news - I've had to change my website provider (hence the slight change in address), which means there may be some peculiar things happening on the site in the next few weeks. I'll try and sort it out as quickly as I can!

Secondly - I had a couple of weeks off work at Christmas and dedicated some of time to putting this whole enterprise into a database so that, in future, all I have to do is enter the results and let the computer do the work. Consequently I have recalculated the archived tables and it showed up that I am indeed as fallible as I thought because there were errors in them left, right and centre. The biggest shock of all was, it turns out, that the 2007 championship was erroneously awarded to the wrong team! The true winners were Morthoe. If everyone could please accept my most humble apologies (although I'm sure there'll be some Trouts who won't) as I am only human and it is very easy to forget to carry a one or such like when presented with such a truckload of calculations. Happy new year Mrs White :)

STOP PRESS: This is all well and good, of course, but between last night and this morning I went and lost the memory stick with it all on - this maybe only temporarily as I haven't looked everywhere yet - so I'll probably have to do it all again. I am, as you may have guessed, a little bit peeved about this.

Update! November 22nd 2010

I'm going to apologise in advance for the length of this, because I've got a number of bases I want to cover.

Can it be that another season has nearly finished? Yes, this Saturday is the Stratton and Kilkhampton 2 tower 4 competition extravaganza which marks the end of the season. But what of the recent past, what have I been up to? Well, the week before The Meeting I had my annual Let's-have-a-ringing-trip-for-all-the-students-and-St-David's-ringers-and-see-how-many-towers-I-can-grab-myself tour, this year around Kingsbridge and Dartmouth. All the usual suspects turned up and so we dashed off in nearly-convoy to South Devon to sample the delights of some of the most awkward to get to towers in the county. The weather was reasonably good, considering it's November, and on the whole the ringing was of reasonable standard. Where did we ring, I hear you ask. We went to South Pool, Chivelstone, Kingsbridge, Sherford and St Saviours in Dartmouth. We finished off at the Sportsman's Arms on the main road between Dartmouth and Halwell and had some lovely food there, a recommended establishment if you're in the area.

South PoolChivelstoneKingsbridgeSherford

The Meeting went well albeit a little slowly for no particular reason, but nevertheless decisions have been made and next year's big competitions are being held as follows: Novice at Holne, 8 Bell at Buckland in the Moor, North Qualifier at Shirwell, South Qualifier at Dunsford, Minor Final at Morthoe and Major Final at West Alvington. Our new chairman is Claude Nicholls and our new President-elect is John Cole. As I hinted at The Meeting dragged on a bit and I have an idea on how we can solve this to some extent. Every year the minutes of the the previous committee meetings and AGM are circulated along the the agenda, so how much extra work would it take to also circulate the various reports with this. Having circulated the reports we don't need to then have them read out at The Meeting and we can go through these items by saying something along the lines of "you should have received the report with you copy of the agenda are there any matters arising?" that way we can move on quickly and get on to other matters more effectively. Other ringing societies have this information sent out as their Annual Report, and sending out the information beforehand may increase attendance as people know that they aren't going to have to sit through these reports which can seem interminable...Just a thought.

So that was the past, what of the future?

Regular followers of the nonsense I put up here will know that a couple of years ago I upgraded how I run the site, from pencil-paper-and-perspiration to an online database, to make things easier to update. Having the database has meant that I can do the semi-regular pointless statistic without having to do much in the way of legwork (or penwork if you prefer), as I just have to ask the right question and the answer falls out which I then copy onto webpage. Obviously the trick is to ask the right question, which isn't always as easy as it seems. Anyway as a consequence I reckon I can make the archive better and give people more information, and so I've got a new project in mind, but first a little background:
Many people know how there a records dating back hundreds of years for nearly all method peals rung worldwide. The names of the ringers, conductors and composers are documented and so from these we can tell who the great method ringers are throughout the years. Also there are many books on the subject so it is comparatively easy to find out the history of method ringing as a pastime. I've read Tintinalogia (printed in the mid 18th century), Shipway's Campanalogia (printed in the early 19th century) and some of the Snowdon series (printed around the turn of the 20th century) and these books give insight into how ringing developed from round ringing into full change ringing.
Recently I had a conversation with Colin Adams about books of this type and I'd mentioned the fact that Steve Coleman has recently (1990s) written some excellent books on the subject of method ringing that are neither too complicated nor too patronising. In a couple of the books there are chapters dedicated to, and in high praise of, well struck call changes. Colin then told me he'd met Steve Coleman and said how Steve had told him how he thought it would be nice to find have a book on the historical aspects of call change ringing in Devon, as this is an area of ringing not very well known.
With this in mind, I'd like to compile a list of the ringers who were in the winning teams of the following competitions since the first year the respective competitions were held:

  • 8 bell Final
  • 6 bell Major Final
  • 6 bell Minor Final
  • 6 bell qualifiers North and South

With the possible later additions of the South Devon 8 bell competition, the South Devon Interdeanery competition and the north Devon equivalents, if such competitions exist. Once the data is collected I hope to be able to make it both browsable and searchable, so you should be able to find out who was in the team that won the 1937 6 bell final or how many times a given ringer has won the North Devon qualifier.

Along with a record of the winning ringers, I'd like to back-date the archive of results for all the competitions that I can so that there is a place where we can answer all those niggling questions that we all occasionally have, such as "When was the Swimbridge Major Final?" or "Where was the 1978 Woodleigh Deanery competition held?". I believe that now is the time to do this, as if we leave it too much longer this knowledge will be gone!
I've already started this process, as Scott Adams has given me his results books going back as far as 1986. Obviously it's not a complete record as no one man (or woman) can keep the results of every competition, but it's a good start. I've also got the names of the ringers who won the first 8 bell and Major Finals, as I was up in North Tawton tower a couple of weeks ago, and Ian Avery has kindly sent the names of all the Kingsteignton teams that have won the eight bell.

The eagle-eyed will have noticed I've changed the look of the site slightly. This is in preparation for the new interface I'm having to design to make all this information accessible (when I'm not typing in results...), I'll be starting that process with this page and the news archive page. Hopefully it'll look something like this:

The new site

2 updates in one month?! When you're hot, you're hot!

Update! November 3rd 2010

I must admit to not having done much competition ringing in the last few weeks, but that's not to say I have done none at all. Kathryn and I both went out on Suzanne's birthday do (I won't tell you how old) and so have a picture of Chris Clayton schmoosing with the ladies, as usual. As a consequence there isn't an awful lot to report. The weather held off, and a good time was had by all.

Chris with the ladies, again

That leaves The Meeting, which is looming ever closer. By the end of it we will know where the big competitions will be held next year and who is going to be on the pencil. And a couple of weeks after The Meeting are the last competitions of the season at Stratton and Kilkhampton. On previous form the chances are it'll be a grim day, but no one will really care. As of yet I don't know whether I'll be ringing in the 6 or 8 or even at all as we'll be a bit thin on the ground at Exminster then. Nevertheless, regardless of my attendance at the competition I'll try and update the league as quickly as possible as that will be it for the year and we'll know who's won.

On that subject it looks like the champions will be Eggbuckland, as Burrington (currently second) would need to find 80 points or St Petrock's (currently third) would need 50 points at the Startton and Kilkhampton competitions. Both scenarios are highly unlikely to the point of impossibility and rely on Eggbuckland not turning up. If we assume that Eggbuckland do turn up and get at least 20 points (by beating 5 teams in both two competitions which is fairly likely, although chances are they'll beat more) then that drops their ranking to 18.48 and requires Burrington to score around 60 points, which is also close to impossible, or St Petrock's to score around 44 points, which is also pretty unlikely. Of course, this doesn't take into account the Tawstock Shield being held this Saturday at Kingsteignton. If either Burrington or St Petrock's score less points than their ranking they won't win the league, but if they manage to beat 9 or more teams they'll still be in with a very slim chance. What I'm trying to say is it's all very complicated and Eggbuckland have probably done enough to retain the league title they regained last year.

The grapevine is buzzing on the subject of Eggbuckland and I have heard that Roger has retired from the Eggbuckland team, and won't be ringing with them at Stratton or Kilkhampton. I can't see it harming the team too much as I know that they have the resources to plug the gap. I can see the future Eggbuckland team having young Steve on the tenor.

And that I believe is all there is to say. Looks like this was a tad longer than I thought it would be...

No - there is one last thing! I'm about to write a page that will work on my mobile phone - It'll have the latest results on it and maybe even a condensed table. It'll be boring as hell to look at if you're using a proper computer but there you go.

Update! October 4th 2010

Now the made panic of the Ofsted inspectors coming into work has subsided, there is just enough time to write a brief summary of September, or at least the ringing which I've been involved in. It's been quite a busy month various competitions and the ringer's dinner of which there'll be more later. First, let me take you back to the beginning of the month and the competition at South Tawton, where chaos ensued at the results. You see, what happened was one of the teams failed to make it to the competition, and so instead of just writing down the order in which the teams rang, as the judges do, John had left out whichever team it was and the peal number which they should have rung at. Consequently John had 15 teams and the judges only had 14. This was fine for first place, as South Brent had rung last anyway, but for second all hell broke lose. Anyway the results given are as recorded and that was that. I would say everyone went home happy, but that's not true as there were inevitably some people who didn't, no names mentioned...

The next competition I've been to was the Kenn Deanery held this year at Christow. The weather was fine if a little cold out of the sun and due to the paucity of numbers the competition was all done and dusted by just before 6pm. There was one issue in particular I'd like to raise about the competition, so I'm about to go off on a rant - if you don't want to read it I suggest you skip to the next paragraph now. The problem in our Deanery appears to be the fact that many of the towers are not interested in competition ringing as a team, which is all well and good, but obviously we want to encourage teams to enter as the Deanery is a comparatively gentle way of competing. Yes, for the top teams there is the opportunity to qualify for the Interdeanery next year, but there is no pressure on teams to be at that standard. As part of a drive to get people (as opposed to teams) actively involved our deanery has a once-a-month practice night at one of the deanery towers where any ringer, at virtually any standard, can come, have a go, and meet some like minded people who all reside fairly locally. This may help people to come forward for the competition as they get to know people and therefore don't feel like they're intruding in an exclusive club. We also relaxed the rules at the AGM, over much debate, so that any one ringer could ring three times with no restrictions on the bell they could ring. However, as expected by those who had reservation about the rule change, there was no increase in the number of teams that entered this year, and there was a decrease in the number of towers represented. There even seemed to be little difference between the ringers that went in for two of the towers in the A-section. Not in the spirit of the rules at all, in fact it wouldn't surprise me to see the rules changed back to what they were at the next AGM. Personally I'd like to see scratch teams in the Deanery, so that if there were two ringers from Christow, three ringers from Bishopsteignton and one from Whitestone (for the sake of argument) that wanted to ring in the competition but couldn't get a full team together, they could all group together as one team and enter. This might encourage these sort of towers as those ringers who went and had a go in a scratch team may go back to there towers and say 'we had a good day, enjoyed the ringing and company, and we should send a team next year as it's not as serious as all that.'

Last weekend was the South Devon 8 bell competition at Highweek. I thought it was a good competition, with 10 teams entering, and the only problem was the draw. I believe it is being scrapped for next year and the competition is going to times, which will stop all this business of three-quarters of a team turning up and not being able to ring as one of their ringers is ringing at a wedding. Anyway, the entry list was pretty strong and, although the weather turned nasty after tea, a fair number of people were still around for the results, we even had a couple of visitors from 'up north'!

'But what of the ringers dinner?' I hear you cry. Well I thought I'd leave that to the end as it seems more fitting. The annual Dinner-Dance was this year held at Libbaton Golf Course near High Bickington, and although it was a long way for some, was very well attended. And a very very enjoyable evening was had by all. Highlights for me included Messers Clayton and Langdon running the draw, as they had their own personal competition to see who could sell the most tickets - I believe Mervyn just edged that one, and Gerald Herniman looking resplendent in his shirt, tie and apron whilst cutting the meat for the carvery. Same again next year, please!

There are some photos to go here; they'll go up when I get round to getting them off my camera...
Update 3rd Nov: Here they are :)

Annual Dinner 2010Annual Dinner 2010

Update! September 3rd 2010

What with one thing and another blah, blah, blah...OK I'll be honest, a supreme amount a sloth on my part meant I haven't updated this for a while. However since I haven't been to any competitions this month, and have been off work, the simple fact is that it hadn't actually entered into my mind. Poor show, I know. On the plus side (for me, at least), I have caught up with a load of reading I wanted to do, decorated my bedroom, organised a ringing weekend and re-stained my shed, so it's not like I've completely vegged out. As a consequence there's no pictures on this update so you'll just have to put up with the words.

Since I haven't done very much since I last wrote, I don't have much to comment on. I can tell you that I have rung on the newly rehung Merton bells and will say that they weren't as good as they could've been, not aided by the fact that the ropes were rather low so I had to ring at least one of the bells with both hands above the sally. Don't try this at home; it's the quickest way to really mess up your hands.

As for the league I've put in the results I had lying around, the complete list is on the league page, but basically it's every competition that was held in August. There were a couple fewer events than normal as the Shebbear competition wasn't held for a reason that is not entirely clear to me and the Lydford/Bridestowe dual event wasn't held due to ill health on the part of the captain there. I believe he is well on the road to recovery and wish him all the best. Having said that, we gained a competition as Monkleigh moved their competition from October into the gap made by the Shebebar competition and it was well attended by the looks of the results.

I'm going to be ringing at South Tawton on Saturday (all things being equal) and so I may have something a bit more exciting to discuss next time round...

Update! July 30th 2010

I actually wrote this a few days ago but there you go...

I guess I aught to say why I've been a little quiet these last couple of weeks: basically I've been too busy to compose one of these discourses (for want of a better word...), although the beady-eyed will notice that I haven't been too busy to put the results in for the last few weeks competitions. Anyway, what with the last couple of weeks of term being generally manic and the visit of my mother-in-law in the middle of it all, now is the first chance I've had to put down some thoughts. Let's see then, since I last wrote we've had the dual competitions at Stoke Gabriel and Collaton St Mary (the latter for the Art Seymour, which doesn't seem to wander around the county like it used to) - of which I have a couple of pictures. They were followed by Dunsford and Doddiscombsleigh, although I wasn't there due to the second reason above, and last weekend we had the Burrington competition, which this year was a three tower event for the first time.

Collaton St MaryStoke GabrielStoke Gabriel

So, if I remember correctly, Stoke and Collaton took place on a lovely day, although there was a few light showers in the evening. The bells at Stoke are still a good challenge and it was a personal landmark as it was the first time I trebled in competition, although only at Stoke as Kathryn did the honours at Collaton. It wasn't a complete disaster, and I'll say no more on the subject, as the results speak for themselves. No complaints there, then.

Stoke Gabriel

Now on to the more interesting talking point - the Burrington three tower event. For those not in the know, this year's Burrington competition was held simultaneously with (and at the same time as) competitions at Ashreigney and Atherington. As a bit of background, the event has not been done like this before as Atherington have been out of action since 1976-ish and have only recently been rehung. The work was carried out as the tower had a load of cracks in it, which were mostly due to the bells. Consequently the bells have been hung in a new frame much lower down the tower than before which makes them incredibly loud in the ringing chamber. The bells themselves go heavier than they are, and there is a slight issue with the distance between the ropes of the second and treble - I nearly lost my arm in the rise to our (Exeter St David's) second ringer - but they have a fantastic tone and a good team should be able to get some good music out of them.

Getting back to the main point; you may remember a few weeks back I said I had been asked to think about how one would go about making a handicap system. The reason being that Steve Herniman wanted to try one out for the overall contest at the three tower event. You may ask why, and as far as I understand it, it was so that the results for the overall competition a) weren't so spread and b) gave the less good teams half a chance of winning it, in much the same way as a golf handicap works. I said that I would do it based on average scores from the last four or five Burrington competitions, and that to give him any definitive answer I would need the results from a bit further back as I only have three years worth of results. Through one thing and another I didn't get the results and so would like to make it clear that I had nothing to do with the handicap system the Steve came up with. I say this because St David's won the overall trophy and I don't wish to be accused of rigging the system (remember: many a true word is spoken in jest...), not that I would anyway, otherwise Exminster would win the league every year ;-). So if there are any complaints please direct them at someone else...

One point of note was Chittlehampton's result at Ashreigney, obviously I didn't hear the peal and I have no criticism of the judging, but talk about punching above your weight! I expect that many of the ringers in that team ring at Ashreigney quite regularly, but you still have to be mighty good to beat the likes of Eggbuckland even on your own bells. Congratulations to them, I reckon they'd be well pleased with that, I know I would be.

Update! July 5th 2010

I've finally found the time to write something! I know a few people have been waiting for this, and I must say I find this slightly surprising, but you know how it is - whenever you want to do something events overtake you and your never mind the time. Regular readers will know that I did manage to get the results from the South Brent competition in last week and also update the pointless stat. New this week is the results from the Beric Bartlett held at West Charleton (more on that later).

As many people know, I wasn't at the South Brent competition as I was busy imbibing at the National 12-bell this year held at Crediton. The opportunity to hear the best method ringers in the country do their thing on the comparatively new bells was too great to pass up, as was the ale brewed by the Beer Engine especially for the occasion (named Howard's Shout). The weather was absolutely beautiful and sitting down by the beer tent in the lower rectory garden much fun was had by all. Well, nearly all: the Junior Steward of the College Youths had his shoes pinched by some other jocular members of said society who promptly dumped him head first into one of the bins when he went to recover one of the erstwhile sandals (the picture below shows him with the one he had managed to recover before his run-in with the bin).

National 12 Bell Final 2010National 12 Bell Final 2010National 12 Bell Final 2010

Since the draw for the competition was held at 11am, the ringing was all wrapped up by 4pm, but the results weren't announced until 6. Even that was a drawn out process as each of the four judges had their say: the Head judge gave general thoughts about the event, the next judge spoke about the overall standard of ringing (going so far as to say he didn't actually like the test piece), the third judge gave comments about the individual touches and the final judge gave the actual results - in the order of ringing. As I'm sure you already know Birmingham won the event, to resume their dominance in the event, and Exeter finished 5th, much higher than they were anticipating. I believe this is Birmingham's 17th win since the contest was first held in 1975, nearly as dominant as a couple of teams in this county...

Now on to last Saturday's shenanigans: the Beric Bartlett at West Charleton. I spent the afternoon in the company of the esteemed messers Pester and Adams (junior) in a very nice little bungalow overlooking the church and the also the Kingsbridge estuary. I couldn't comment on how easy the bells were to ring as I only had a rise on the bells to prepare them for the novice/intermediate section, but from outside it certainly sounded like they weren't easy to ring. After my own dear mother made a rather uncharitable comment about my ability as a judge, it may interest you to know that all three of us were all much of a muchness when it came to the faults we gave each team, apart from the last peal where Scott was a bit lighter than Percy and I. Overall the day went fairly well, although there was some confusion as to who was ringing what in the novices section before tea. No pictures of this event I'm afraid as I was kept quite busy...

That's about it, I think, I hope to see some of you this weekend at the Stoke and Collaton events.

P.S. Apologies for the length, but in the words of Blaise Pascal, "I made this...longer than usual because I lack the time to make it short."

Update! June 14th 2010

The results from the Major Final and the Okehampton Deanery are in and as I usually do at this time of year I've set the qualifying limit to five or more competitions on the main table. I know for a fact that there are two competitions outstanding (Littleham's annual competition held at Weare Giffard and the Plymouth and Ivybridge Deaneries competition), and whichever of the two I get first will be the 250th set of competition results that I have got in the database since 2003. Of course, if I don't get them before Saturday, then Eggbuckland's annual competition will be the 250th set as that's the competition I'll be at when the results are announced.

Littleham Church - Venue for the Major Final 2010

As I said in my last update, this section will get a bit more 'bloggy', since I have an opinion and this is my website I think I should be allowed to express it here, so today's update news includes, for the first time, my opinions on the ringing stories of the moment: As you probably gathered from the previous paragraph, last Saturday was the Major Final this year held at Littleham, which explains why Littleham's competition was at Weare Giffard this year. A brief report would go like this - Weather: Good, Service: reasonably short, good, Tea: a little pricey and the service a little slow, but otherwise excellent, Pub: too far from the church and closed in the afternoon, Result: the right one, but open to discussion (as always), Football: Shocking.

Major Final 2010Major Final 2010Major Final 2010

To expand a little, the weather meant that everyone was quite happy to sit outside and soak up the atmosphere of the afternoon and because the pub was shut from 3 'til 6.30, that's what everybody did. The photos I hope are shots showing just that (Yes, photos on the home page, what next!?). Littleham's bells were widely understood to be very good, but turned out to bit a fair bit trickier than everyone thought with the fourth especially catching everybody out, at it seemed that nobody really got hold of them for the whole length of a peal. The service bears comment on, as the vicar lead us through the usually order of service with some well known hymns (very well known in the case of Praise My Soul), and the address was kept down to about 5 minutes. The sermon was based on the reading, which this year was the one about Aaron's robe with the pomegranates and bells - like we've never heard that before. I know that their aren't many references to bells in the Bible, but as a plea from all bellringers everywhere, can the clergy please be more original? I don't know how many times I've heard why the bells were on the robe and now I really couldn't care less, in fact we don't need to hear about why bells are important in general because we hear it virtually every week through the summer. Yes, thank us for our work but then move on to something else more interesting - maybe talk about your holidays or something...

Major Final 2010Major Final 2010Major Final 2010

The final result, as I said above, was the right one but as always there was some discussion into the detail. I can't be bothered to go into it fully myself (mainly cause I'm not too upset about it and haven't had chance to have a good look at it) but one point that was made regarded the positioning of the judges themselves. The main question was whether they could hear the bells properly given that they were so low down under the church and very close to where everyone was congregated. I guess that maybe the judges elected for the final (or at least one of them) have a chance to work out where the best place to judge from is before the day, however that may be a logistical nightmare.

One last point on today's meander is on the Burrington competition; I believe this year it is going to be a three tower event (although I could be wrong) and that this year they are going to try out a handicap system to see if they can make the result closer/more interesting. I've been asked to think about it and see if I can come up with anything. I've got a couple of ideas involving various averages and will sit down with a pen and paper to see if they are feasible and understandable.

Update! May 18th 2010

With the main ringing season underway, updates to the league will be coming thick and fast. Since I've gone to a web based system for calculating everything I'll update results almost as soon as I have them without necessarily writing things up. In future I hope to make this page a bit more like a blog as well as a news channel with my thoughts on the latest "developments", but that will take an update of the web page itself, so will probably take a bit longer than I anticipate - better make that a lot longer ;).

One significant update in the pipeline is the competition stats page as a partner to the team stats page. Once I get an interface for it sorted out it'll go live.

I'm off to do some real work so can the last one out turn off the lights, cheers...

Update! April 2nd 2010

I've added the fixture between Burrington B and Exeter St Davids into the ladder. I've also realised that I didn't reset the tables in April - they rest after a few compeitions (i.e. at the beginning of May) but the stats have debolded (for want of a better word) ready for Ide in a week's time. Happy Easter!

Update! March 26th 2010

I've had a couple of results from the ladder come in, the final match in group 1 of the A section has been played and a second match in group 4 North. The group 1 match resulted in a draw which means I've had to rewrite chunks of code in the database as I hadn't already written for this eventuality (grrrr!). Anyway, the code can now account for draws and also correctly sorts the teams out when they are tied on points in the league. In short that means the ladder tables on this website are 100% correct, unless I have to sort something out by the drawing of lots.

The competition season proper starts on the 10th April at Ide and so (with a bit of luck) everything will be cleared into the archive at the beginning of April. That's at least what I think I told it to do...

Update! March 4th 2010

After much fiddling around with the code I've have given the teams stats search form a few more options. I guess the next stage is a similar thing for the competitions and then a thing to allow you compare teams...Compare the bellringers? Simples (as if...)

Update! January 22nd 2010

If you head over to the league part of the site, specifically the stats pages, you'll find that I've added a feature that allows you to look at an individual team's averages and results. It is at a fairly basic level at the moment, but I hope to make the results more customisable in the near future. Enjoy!

A minor cosmetic change, I've also added a bookmark icon. You should be able to see it in the address bar of your browser, just next to where you type in a web address

Update! January 15th 2010

A brand new year and hopefully all my code is still behaving itself (I'll be honest and say I haven't checked). Whilst we're in the competition closed-season I thought I'd put up some new compositions I've had lying around, one of which is the peal for the John Scott 10 bell competition being held in February. You'll find them as downloadable pdf files under the compositions tab above.

Update! December 7th 2011

Having started this elsewhere and then being prevented from accessing it due to some undisclosed infrastructure problem, I've had to start to start the beginning of this update again. Not that I'd written much, you understand, but it's the principal. Anyway I had said something like since it was December and I had managed to get a few database updates in the can (figuratively speaking), I needed to do an update to keep you all abreast of the state of play...
First things first: I have received from Graham Pascoe, Bob Pengelly, Graham Sharland and David Trout a load of results and teams from competitions that I previously didn't have. Thanks to their hard work I can now say that I've started to collate results from the 1970s and early 1980s in addition to the ones I already have. You will, hopefully, find the complete list of the ringers from Eggbuckland that have won the Major Final in the database and also results of some of the big Devon competitions. Consequently, there are also some league tables but they do not in any reflect the how good each team was at the time as they only have a small number of competitions in them. Many thanks to the above named gentlemen for taking the time to send me the information, I know I haven't put all of it in yet but I'm getting there!

Now the small matter of the league champions - this year has been very closely fought all year, and the winners victory margin is quite small. Unusually, the top places in both the main table and the all-comers table are taken by the same teams, and consequently the margin of victory is the same for both. For those of you who haven't already looked; after the fifty-odd competitions that I have the results for from this year the 2011 league champions are Kingsteignton, who beat Eggbuckland by a whisker over one ranking point. So this year, for the first time since I've been doing this properly the top two places are taken by the two teams that hold the Ross shields.

Is there anything else?... Oh yes, for those who don't know - I was elected as Devon Association webmaster at the AGM last month. I do have a couple of ideas of things I'd like to put up there, but if you have any ideas for things that need doing don't hesitate to come and talk to me. I believe that the site needs to reflect the membership and so will need your help in order to make it as good as we can make it. Feel free to register and post news items or results, or anything ringing related for that matter. If anyone's got good photographs of churches, ringing or ringers doing what ringers do when they're not ringing they would also be gratefully received too!

There you go, 500 words of the usual nonsense for you to enjoy and get you thinking. Bye!


PS If I don't get to update this beforehand, I'd like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I'm quite busy in the week or so before Christmas so I doubt that I will be able to squeeze another update in.

Update! November 10th 2011

A very quick update this week - to show that I'm still alive mainly, but also to announce the new records and statistics page (that has been an age in the pipeline) is now live. There's still a couple of tweaks I want to put in but it's pretty much as I want it. Everyone likes a good stat - go on, have a look in the league section.

See you at the AGM...

Update! September 14th 2011

Today's update brings the conclusion of the mathematical doodling I'd been playing with back along. First, however, I have to report the quandary I've been in since seeing the results of the National. Basically, I've been trying to work out which of the four sets of results I should include for inclusion in the DRL, or more specifically which set of results from Georgeham is the 'right' one. I've put to one side the overall results, as I have never included any overall sets before, and have included the West Down set as the "National 6 Bell". After a bit of thought and applied logic (or at least the closest I get to logic) I have made the decision to include the non-handicap results in the DRL, as the "National 8 Bell" (even though not all the teams rang eight), largely because I've not knowingly included any handicap results before. But don't worry folks the results for the Handicap section, the Ben Isaac Shield, are currently residing in my database. I will eventually get around to publishing these, along with lots of other non-DRL results I have collected, in a new improved super-archive! Don't expect it any time soon, though, I've got a few monster web applications to build at work and don't really want to be sat in front of a computer when I'm at home too...

So now on to my way of seeing who the best team in Devon is; background first. In the archive there are only three pairs of events where both six and eight bells are rung on the same bells: Chittlehampton, Kilkhampton and Stratton. Clearly the ideal situation for a fair test would be to have the same judges judging both sections; I think that that was only true for the Chittlehampton competitions - I'm fairly sure that Stratton and Kilkhampton use different judges for the six and eight bell sections. As a another rough guide I've gone so far as to compare the two Devon Finals as well, even though they are on different towers with different judges judging.

I figured that six bell teams ring three-quarters of the bells that eight bell teams ring and for three-quarters of the time (15 minutes compared to 20), so are effectively only ringing nine-sixteenths (3/4 x 3/4) of what the eight bell teams are ringing. I haven't taken account of the fact that six bell teams ring something like four thirds of the number of changes that eight bell teams ring since I don't think that has as much of an effect, it is harder mentally to ring 5 minutes of rounds faultlessly than 5 minutes of changes. What this basically all means is that 43.75% (or 7/16) of an eight bell team's score is removed, leaving the necessary 9/16. Looking at the best case scenario - Chittlehampton - the top six bell team and top eight bell team from each of the three years I have the results look like this (I've highlighted the 'winning' team in grey):

Year Six bell Eight bell
1993 14.5 Eggbuckland 19.5 Eggbuckland (34.67)
1995 6.5 Eggbuckland 19.69 High Bickington (35)
1997 16.5 Exminster 18 Morthoe (32)

The eight bell teams are brought into something like equal territory, but not actually winning. This is not totally conclusive as there are only three sets of results to go on. If we look at the next best case - Kilkhampton and Stratton - the results look like this:


Year Six bell Eight bell
1993 9.5 Eggbuckland 28.13 South Petherwin (50)
2000 35 Kenn 16.03 Eggbuckland (28.5)
2003 16.5 Buckland in the Moor 9.84 South Brent (17.5)
2005 17.25 Morthoe 23.91 Chittlehampton (42.5)
2007 12.5 Eggbuckland 23.91 Eggbuckland (42.5)
2008 15 Eggbuckland 16.31 Eggbuckland (29)
2009 30.5 Chittlehampton 25.31 St Columb Major (45)
2010 30.5 Exeter St Petrock 25.88 Chittlehampton (46)


Year Six bell Eight bell
2003 22.5 Molland 18.56 South Brent (33)
2006 18 Eggbuckland 14.06 Eggbuckland (25)
2007 15.5 Eggbuckland 10.41 Eggbuckland (18.5)
2008 16.5 South Brent 19.13 South Brent (34)
2009 24 Exeter St Petrock 16.59 Chittlehampton (29.5)
2010 18.5 Chittlehampton 14.63 South Brent (26)

So the wins are shared equally at Kilhampton, although Stratton favours eight bell ringing more. It appears that the weight of the bells may also affect the distribution somewhat, with heavier bells favouring the eight bell ringing more than light bells (for reference Chittlehampton are about 13cwt, Kilkhampton are around 12cwt and Stratton are nearly 22cwt), so the percentage taken off would have to be revised downwards to take account of this. However since it wasn't the same judges marking the six and eight bell sections these sets of results have to be taken with a pinch of salt.

For those who are interested, here are how the Devon finals compare. Bearing in mind the competitions took place on different towers, these come out at a roughly even split between six and eight bell teams (13-12 to six bell sides) over the last 25 finals:

Year Six bell Eight bell
1986 9 Eggbuckland 20.53 Kingsteignton (36.5)
1987 22.25 West Down 8.62 North Tawton (15.33)
1988 16.25 Down St Mary 18.84 Buckland in the Moor (33.5)
1989 19.5 Eggbuckland 18.42 North Tawton (32.75)
1990 11.25 Eggbuckland 12.23 Kingsteignton (21.75)
1991 10.5 Eggbuckland 12.94 Kingsteignton (23)
1992 9 Eggbuckland 8.72 Kingsteignton (15.5)
1993 11.25 Eggbuckland 8.58 Kingsteignton (15.25)
1994 14 Eggbuckland 13.92 Kingsteignton (24.75)
1995 14.75 South Brent 18.14 North Tawton (32.25)
1996 19 Morthoe 10.41 Kingsteignton (18.5)
1997 10.5 Eggbuckland 14.06 Kingsteignton (25)
1998 13.75 South Brent 14.06 Kingsteignton (25)
1999 13.75 Eggbuckland 13.64 Tavistock (24.25)
2000 18.25 Molland 22.22 Buckland in the Moor (39.5)
2002 5.75 Eggbuckland 11.95 Kingsteignton (21.25)
2003 14 Eggbuckland 11.81 Kingsteignton (21)
2004 15.5 Eggbuckland 11.53 Kingsteignton (20.5)
2005 7.25 Eggbuckland 14.63 Kingsteignton (26)
2006 14.75 Eggbuckland 15.19 Kingsteignton (27)
2007 14.5 Eggbuckland 11.11 Kingsteignton (19.75)
2008 28.25 South Brent 16.59 Kingsteignton (29.5)
2009 10 Eggbuckland 13.36 Kingsteignton (23.75)
2010 14.5 Eggbuckland 7.31 Kingsteignton (13)
2011 13 Eggbuckland 18.42 Kingsteignton (32.75)

So there you have it - as a rough guide Kingsteignton and Eggbuckland are about as good as each other, a slightly disappointing if inevitable conclusion...

Update! August 3rd 2011

For today's long-awaited update I thought I'd talk about something I've been fiddling with for a while, but now become topical. But first the news...

Since the last update at the end of June(!) the competitions have come thick and fast; the results have all gone in the database, even though I've maintained a bit of a silence right here. The competitions that have been competed for are the rescheduled Bow and Down St Mary twin competition, the Beric Bartlett at Yealmpton, Stoke and Collaton, Dunsford and Doddiscombsleigh, South Brent and finally the Burrington 3 tower - Burrington, Ashreigney and Atherington. I have rung in many of these, but not really hung around so can't really comment on the competitions themselves, the notable exception being the Beric Bartlett where I was judging. Thankfully the weather was glorious on that day as Scott and I were sat outside just above the church where we could hear the bells very clearly, hence the comparatively high scores. I'd like at this juncture to congratulate Holne for entering all three sections in that competition and have seen that they have entered one or two events since.

It's Widecombe in the Moor this Saturday - an event that always feels like it's the second Major final as all the best teams seem to be there, but in the middle of summer so the weather is almost guaranteed to be clement if not good.

As I alluded to earlier, I've been fiddling with an idea about how to compare eight bell and six bell teams in the same competition using results from the archive, with some success. The premise being to see if it was feasible to have an overall Devon Champion, or in other words to find out who is better: Eggbuckland on six or Kingsteignton on eight. The announcement of the National on August bank holiday Monday, at Georgeham and West Down up near Barnstaple, has made my mathematical doodling somewhat topical as this year the eight bell competition is being run as a eight or six bell competition and teams which ring eight getting a percentage knocked off. It will be interesting to see how the results there compare to my prediction (which I will keep under wraps for the time being, but will tell the organisers). I'll explain more at a later date...

Update! June 24th 2011

Just when you thought it was safe to pop your head up over the parapet...

I've not really got much to say as there doesn't appear to have been an awful lot of ringing going on since I last wrote. The Down St Mary/Bow double header has been postponed and Eggbuckland was cancelled. Given that the deanery competition I ring in isn't until the other end of the year I've been pretty much knocking about at home with my family. The Major Final did take place and we did manage to get there for a couple of hours before we had to go again and I did hear what turned out to be the winning and third placed peals. Since I wasn't there for very long the only photo I have is Esme trying to follow the service for herself; cute, but not exactly ringing stuff.

Sorry for the excessive cuteness

I have found a couple of photographs that I took earlier in the year and haven't put up so here they are...
The view from the window while judging at Buckland Brewer (nice):

Buckland Brewer 2011
The view over the hedge at Buckland-in-the-Moor on 8 bell final day, n.b. I couldn't actually see over the hedge so this was a blind shot. Pretty good, or at least I think so:

Buckland-in-the-Moor 2011

I'm (still) working on the records page - I've got to try and speed it up as it takes forever to load at the minute. I have put most of the competition results in and am working on the ringers' database so the winning teams will be available soon. I think I'm only waiting for the results from Spreyton, assuming that the competition took place, of course.

Update! May 17th 2011

I'll try and keep this short this week as I'm quite busy, but will probably inevitably go on much longer than I intended. See, I'm doing it already. Focus! No pictures this week as I didn't get the camera out when I should have done (You lucky people).

The main thing to mention is the Qualifiers, or at least the one I was at with passing reference to what happened 'up north'. The other thing is correcting a small error I made in last time's update.

So, we had a good, if somewhat short, day on Saturday with only eight teams ringing (and only seven of those eligible to progress to the finals), and a unexpected winner. Yes, South Brent beat Eggbuckland and took the shield, and deserving it was to! It has to be said that there were a few very uncharacteristic errors near the beginning of the Eggbuckland peal - of course if anyone else had rung a peal like that we'd have been saying well done, and as I told Steve Trout afterwards it was only because it was Eggbuckland ringing that everyone was a bit flabbergasted. South Brent's peal on the other hand was very clean and only really had a few of those not-right-but-not-marking type errors. We - St David's, that is - finished last in terms of number of faults, not placed in terms of actual results (as we agreed long ago) and first in terms of keeping our eye on the clock. We're certainly pleased with our result as it was a) the best we'd ever rung the bells and b) the fewest faults we've ever picked up in a competition - we must be doing something right. Oh, and our top ringing wasn't too shabby when you look at the judges mark sheet.

And now the passing reference to events in Shirwell: Congratulations to Burrington for winning, commiserations to Burrington B for finishing just one quarter of a fault off qualifying for the Major Final outright - I expect to see at you West Alvington anyway as I think you should be good enough to finish in the top two places at the Minor Final.

Now the correction of the mistake: Kingsteignton won their first Eight Bell Final in 1967 and not 68 as I said last time - I realised I'd got it wrong pretty much as soon as I posted and just could be bothered to change it. Trouble is, someone else noticed.

One last little factoid which may or may not interest you: The team that won at Dunsford last Saturday (May 14th, 2011) had one G Sharland ringing in it, and the last time that the qualifier was at Dunsford, on May 14th 1960 no less, the winning team was Kenn who had a certain M Sharland ringing for them who is the father of the former named ringer.

Update! May 2nd 2011

It's a couple of days after a historic eight bell final with at least 3 records being made or broken. The weather wasn't too bad either - just a couple of showers. Kingsteignton were again the deserving winners and the rest of us still have some catching up to do if we're going to beat them next year! As for the records: Kingsteignton won their 10th eight bell in a row (the first time that has happened) and also their 22nd overall which puts them one in front of North Tawton and therefore the leading tower in terms of the number of wins. All but four of these victories have been since 1990, which goes to show quite how dominant they've been for the last 20 or so years in eight bell ringing. The third record concerns Ian Avery, the Kingsteignton captain. He has rung in every win that Kingsteignton have achieved (going back to 1968) and so is probably the single person to have won the eight bell the most times. I say probably because I don't have a good enough set of records to confirm this, but I do have enough records to say that should Kingsteignton go on to win the eight bell final next year with Ian ringing the treble he will become one of the very few individuals, or maybe only person, who have won the eight bell final ringing every bell at least once.

Meanwhile, in the six bell world, Eggbuckland have won everything available to them so far. Things are looking ominous, but then you never know what can happen on the day. Just out of interest, the team they beat at the last six bell event before Easter, the Interdeanery at Walkhampton, was Kingsteignton. The best teams in Devon so far this year? It appears so...

I was ringing for a wedding at St David's the other day, and the bridge and groom whisked their gets away to the reception in and an unusual form of conveyance - two Routemaster style buses! If you don't believe me, here's the photo:

Two buses for wedding guests

Update! April 8th 2011

Ladies and gentlemen, how to resolve a problem in one less than easy lesson: I have a young and enthusiastic band of converts to the Devon Call Change tradition from the University. We would very much like to ring in the Devon Association Competitions to see how well we compare with everyone else. We can't raise a team to ring in the eight bell, partly due to the university terms and partly because we'd have to borrow too many ringers, but I know as much as the next man that the rules don't allow 8 Bell Towers entering the 6 Bell. I'm not going to go in to the rights or wrongs of this right now, that's for the AGM, but I will say that I did approach Dave Trist to ask him if it would be possible to enter as St Petrock's B, since pretty much every ringer in Exeter rings there fairly regularly since it is the Ringing Centre for the area. He said that he would like to help, but as a committee member, he felt he should uphold the rules, and had been actively encouraged to do so by some members of the Association, and so has recently declined the request. I have since contacted the Hon. Sec. asking him if we would be allowed to ring as St Davids and get judged under the proviso that we don't get a placing, in much the same way as has been seen in some eight bell finals when a home team wants to ring, which he has agreed with. Potentially messy situation resolved, job's a good'un.

In a strongly related issue, there are people, some of whom are committee members, asking where all the teams that ring in the Novice are going to as they don't seem to be 'moving on' to the full competitions. I think I may have inadvertently stumbled across a couple of answers to that question whilst trying to figure out my own issue. 1) It is very difficult to teach virtually an entire team of novices how to rise and lower in peal correctly if you don't have the support of five or six ringers who can already do this to a high enough standard. It is especially difficult to teach trebling up and down if you can't do it yourself and don't have someone who can - I'd go so far to say that this is nigh on impossible. 2) A number of the teams in the Novice are from eight bell towers. These teams may be in a similar position to us at St David's in that they don't have the manpower to raise a team of eight, or if they do they aren't confident enough to send a team to the eight bell. I think it's likely that they can ring up and down fine on 6 but struggle to do the same on 8 - a feeling I know very well.

Enough on that for the moment, as I want to talk about the lovely morning/lunchtime I had at Buckland-in-the-Moor the other day. In a surprising turn of events the weather was a bit grim up Exeter way but absolutely glorious at Buckland, and the churchyard looked lovely with all the daffs out in full bloom. That's right folks, the Exminster team went down there for a practice for the eight bell. I'll not comment on how good, bad or indifferent our ringing was, but I will say that the ringing on finals day may not be as good as it could be if as few teams have gone there for a practice as was hinted at. The bells at Buckland are tricky little things and I'd be surprised if many teams ring them under 25 faults. One thing we have to hope for is good weather as Buckland is a really nice part of the world if the weather is good, but not so good when it's raining!

Buckland in the Moor in the SpringBuckland in the Moor in the SpringBuckland in the Moor in the Spring

Since the first competition of the year has happened, I've put the results in the archive and the stats page have updated themselves to reflect that and the fact we're now in a new season. I've still got a bit of work to do on the new records page, but I hope it will be up soon.

One last thing, I've got to send my congratulations to the Exeter Cathedral band; they have recently qualified for the final of the National 12 Bell Striking contest for the second year running. Good luck for the final!

Update to the update: I've just seen that the Devon Association's website has be given a completely new facelift. I've been in contact with the webmaster and apologised for any offence caused in the last rant. I don't think that the refreshed look was brought on by what I said, as it looks like he spent some time on it, but I have also sent him my thanks for what is a great new site - a bit more like a shop window, rather than just a results service.

PS - I'll put up some new pictures soon, honest!!

Update! March 11th 2011

Hello everyone, it's getting close to the start of the season and therefore I figured it was time for another update, largely due to the fact I have some big news! Yes, that's right folks, I can not-so-exclusively announce here that Kathryn has given birth and we now have a little girl to look after. For those of you who like to know the details, read on, for those who don't care (and I know some people don't), you may like to skip to the next paragraph. Esme Louise Kerslake was born at 5pm on the 23rd February 2011 at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital weighing in at 3.2kg which is just over 7lbs in old money. Everything seems to be progressing nicely and both mother and baby are in the rudest of health. If I've forgotten anything you can ask me, and I've no doubt she'll be around and about over the summer. There's a picture below of the wee lass.

picture of Esme, awwwwwww!

That clears up exactly what it is I've been doing for the last few weeks, so welcome back to the people who don't like babies, and onwards. I'm kind of hoping that the first phase of the site upgrades are working now, which include a new interface for accessing the results archive and a new load of code for this page and the news archive page that this links to. Still in the pipeline are updates to the records and statistics pages and also a ringers database page where you can look up the members of the winning teams of the big competitions.

I did go on a brief trip at the beginning of Februaury which enabled me to grab Collumpton, which is the final 10 bell tower in Devon I haven't rung at (although I'm not including Lundy as that doesn't really count, althouh it would be nice to grab there too), as well as ring at Clyst Hydon and Broadclyst, pretty much the best 8 in the county in my opinion. There's a couple of photos of that below.

Bovey Tracey shrouded in mistRingers ringingBungle photographs the photographerInside Clyst Hydon

There's one more thing I really want to talk about, and that's the state of the Devon Associations website. It's great if you know what's going on and you're in the loop but for anyone without this knowledge who wants to know about the history of the Association, what we do and what we offer our members it's frankly rubbish. These days a website should be the shop window for garnering interest as well as a place for people to go to regularly. It's all well and good saying all the information is there, but since it is buried under a load of results, ringkly dates and Ryan's pre-competition tower information it is not what I would describe as accessible. In fact, the other day one of the freshers at St David's was looking at the Guild website and asked me about the Association and their website, being as we are members of both at St David's, and I had to tell her not to bother going there as it isn't the most user friendly of experiences. She went on it despite my warning and agreed that it wasn't very good or indeed useful. I'm not volunteering to change it myself, but if the front page could be changed so that it looks more like the kind of website that other organisations have, with obvious links to things such as news and results (which would link to the current set up), history, member towers, what we do and so on, it would be a much better advert for the Association. I suppose that's another thing I aught to bring up at the next committee meeting...

Update! February 1st 2011

Hello everyone! I know it's been a while since I last posted something here, but that's because I've been busy adding lots of results to the archive. Thanks to Scott Adams, I've been able to add results from competitions going back as far as 1986. Consequently the software has already calculated the tables and various other statistics so that all that information is also there.

I've got no real gossip or news to tell you. Although I've obviously done plenty of ringing since I last posted up here since that was just before the Kilkhampton/Stratton double header at the end of the year - That's right, it has been over two months! In that time I've been on a ringing trip between Christmas and New Year, and out practising for the big competitions.

The other excuse I'm going to give for being generally useless is that I'm currently (when I get time) developing the new software for bringing you the archived results, records and statistics. I've sort of beta tested the archive bit with one of the least computer literate people I know (Scott) and everything seems easy enough to use and now it's just a case of building the records and stats pages. It turns out that these aren't as easy as I thought they would be...

Update! December 21st 2012

I know I've been quiet for a while, and also that I said I had another idea that I was going to put up, but events have overtaken me and I haven't had chance to get this down in a sensible explanation so it'll have to wait. This update serves two purposes: one, to show I'm not dead and still updating the site (which I am) and, two, to let you have the Christmas present I've managed to get you lovely people.

I'll deal with point two (the Christmas present) first. Paul Treeby of Plymstock has lent me Frank Crowe's old results book which has competition results in from 1958 to 1968. The ninety or so results that were in there are now in the archive for your perusal - hopefully my coding has been good enough that there should also be tables and the like for these years! The influx of data has affected some teams averages, as you may expect, since some teams that were good 50-60 years ago are not so good now and vice versa. One notable change is that Eggbuckland's faults per competition average, which has gone from a miserly 18.2 to a slightly less miserly 21.3. Having said that they are still about 2.5 faults better than everyone else on the all-time averages. The caveat to all this, which I've said before, is that the archive pre-1986 is nothing like as complete as it is after so some of the statistics from these years need to be taken with a fairly large dose of salt.

The end of season headlines (point one) are:

  • Eggbuckland take the main league title, and the Cumberland Youths win their first all-comers league title after a strong showing at this year's Widecombe in the Moor competition (their only competition).
  • There were more competitions than ever before (54) with more teams entering than last year, although still some way short of the record (85 this year, 70 last year, 100 in 2007 the record).
  • Eggbuckland also managed to increase their own record of competition wins in a season to 22, although their win rate of 88% fell some way short of their 2004 record of 93.33%.
  • The Ide competition at the start of the year saw the top two lowest scores ever given out with Eggbuckland winning on 1 3/4 faults and South Brent coming second with 2 faults.

That's about all the main stories; you can find out more from the stats pages. And since the apocalypse hasn't happened (again), I'll wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Update! July 19th 2012

I've had a couple of ringing related ideas since the last update, they're fairly well formed but not perfectly developed and I'm putting them out there for public consumption to see what you, dear reader, think. I'll give you one now and the other at a later date as they both take a bit of explaining...

I've been doing a little research lately into the history of the Devon Association and one of the things I have found is the first call change 5040 minuted in the old AGM book. For those who don't know 5040 is the maximum number of different orders you can arrange 7 bells. What wasn't in the book (or at least the bit I've seen) were the names of those who rang in it and so, as I thought it merited mention somewhere, I looked it up on Graham Pascoe's website as I know he was involved - the peal was rung at Buckland in the Moor being the major clue. It turns out there was more than one successful attempt at the 5040, and a couple of other long rings which have been rung on the bells were also noted there. Being the enquiring sort, I thought I'd have a look on campanophile (a website with records of method peals and quarters) to see if these long rings were mentioned there - which of course they were or I wouldn't have bothered bringing the subject up in as much detail as I have. A couple of brief searches later and I suddenly had a list of seven instances of call change peals that were over 500 changes in length, and a list of some 39 people that were involved in some way. Since I'm armed with all this data it has brought me to a point where I thought (and am now putting down as an idea) these can be recorded more fully in the same place as the results of major competitions are recorded - long rings like these are not attempted that often by call change ringers so should be celebrated in some (albeit small) way. Given that method ringers have very strict rules on what qualifies as a peal or quarter peal - it's not just down to length (as the nun said to the bishop...!) but includes things like not repeating changes and having to recall the composition from memory and so on - all that is needed now is a set of rules to define what can qualify to be recorded as one of these 'extended peals' as I've (unilaterally) decided to call them. With this in mind, I've come up with the following definitions and rules for Extended Peals - they aren't definitive but do as a working idea:

  • An Extended Peal is any peal of 720 or more unrepeated changes on seven or more bells OR any long ring on six bells that contains at least one full extent of all 720 unrepeated changes that can be rung on six bells.
  • Unrepeated changes are those where the rows immediately before and after a call are unrepeated to produce the changes. A row is a piece of ringing where each and every bell rings once only.
  • The bells must be rung continuously and not set up whilst they are in changes or between parts; a part being a piece of ringing that begins and ends in rounds that forms a section of a whole extended peal.
  • More than one conductor may be used, but a conductor must be ringing whilst calling.
  • Although it is desirable that the bare number of ringers needed take part, an extended peal can be rung in relay with ringers swapping in and out whilst the ringing continues between changes or parts.
  • Calls are not required to be single changes.
  • Extended peals need not contain a rise or lower, and bells not stood at the end do not invalidate the extended peal.

I've deliberately not included anything below six bells as the full extent on five or fewer is rung much more regularly. Given that the largest number of changes on five bells you can ring without repeating yourself is 120, and on four is only 24, that's a) not very time consuming and b) not hugely challenging and would lead to a deluge of people claiming a spot. An extended peal is meant to be a challenge, much like a method peal! I think that covers as far as I've got with extended peals, if anyone has any comments I'd love to hear them.

Association type news now...
It says in the constitution (which is (finally) available to download from the Devon Association website) that all member towers get to vote on where next year's competitions are going to be held and who judges at them. The vote on "where" is done at the AGM (so to exercise that right you have to be there) along with the ratification of the judges, but (as of last year) towers vote for who they want beforehand. I've taken on the job of sorting out the judges vote this year and, following on from comments made at last year's AGM, the committee have decided that you (as a tower) will be provided with a list of all the judges on the Devon Association Judges Panel and the names of those who officiated at the last three years' worth of competitions. The important note is this: when you make your nominations you don't have to vote for people on these lists, you can vote for anyone you think is of a good enough standard. The reason for this is twofold - a) there aren't that many judges on the north panel and b) we, as a committee, don't necessarily know if there are some up and coming judges out there who are considered good enough - therefore we are effectively asking for your help. The Devon Association is a member's society, if the members aren't active in supporting and communicating with the committee (mostly through deanery reps but you can go straight to the top if you like) then the committee can only guess at what it is the members want. And, without wishing to be disrespectful, chances are the committee will not look to change anything unless we get a proverbial kick up the backside. I call it the inertia of tradition, you know the we've-always-done-it-that-way-so-why-change sort of thing. But then, if you're reading this I'm probably preaching to the converted, so I'll stop wasting everyone's time.

Next time I'll present the other idea I've got; this one is about ringing at a more local level. 'til then...(I don't know how to finish this, so you'll have to do it yourselves)...

Update! April 29th 2012

Given that I haven't updated this page for a while, you'd been forgiven for thinking that I've not done anything at all. Well you'd be wrong, as a brief look at the archive pages in the league section will show you that I've put the results from most of the competitions that have happened this year in. If I remember correctly the league table on the home page itself won't change until May 1st but it is available to view in the archive page. It's a bit arse about face, I know, but there you are.

The big news is that yesterday Kingsteignton won their 11th eight bell final in a row at Chittlehampton, and consequently Ian Avery has become the first ringer to circle the tower in a winning team on either six or eight bells. He has also increased his personal number of wins in either the eight bell or Major finals to 23, a tally which is made up exclusively of all Kingsteignton's wins at the Devon 8 Bell and nothing else. A major achievement by anyone's standards!

There's not really much else to say, so I'll leave it at that...

Update! February 17th 2012

I know it's been a long time, and I know that some of you have been waiting (and frequently looking, by all accounts) for my next update - well here it is!

What's been going on? Well I haven't had chance to update this website (clearly) nor have I had much chance to update the Devon Association website - save to put the competition dates and details into the calendar and copy/edit the piece on Jereme's unfortunate accident. On the other hand I have managed to get most of the arrangements for the Devon competitions that I'm in charge of in place, approve the certificate proofs and get them printed, visit the venue of the Novice to see that everything is good there (which it is), enter all the results from the Devons and the Lydford, Bridestowe, Tavistock Deanery and Widecombe in the Moor competitions that I have received into the database and write a fairly chunky article for the next issue of Devon Calls - which should be out about now. I've probably also metaphorically re-invented the wheel in the process but you can't make an omelette and all that.

I can't remember exactly what statistics I've concocted for the Devon Calls article but I'm sure you'll be fascinated, or at least mildly interested - especially if you are mentioned by name...

I've also got a photograph - we haven't had one for a while - and we could play guess the tower, but I'm sure it should be fairly obvious as I've already said in a roundabout way where it is. No prizes for guessing correctly then!

The mystery tower - Rewe, obviously...

I'm going to give up now as my back is hurting from leaning forward over the coffee table for too long.

Just one more thing: I'll be at the 10 bell at the weekend (tomorrow at the time of writing), I'll bring my notebook (an unused 2009 diary, of all things) so if anyone wants to enter any of the Devon competitions, including the Novice, I can make a note of it!

Update! October 2nd 2013

So I've not updated or indeed put a rant up since the very hot weather in the summer, and I am offering no excuse. Never mind there's a bit of nonsense here now and that'll just have to do.

First, the news: I've decided to resign from the post of Honorary Assistant Secretary (South Devon) with effect from the AGM as I don't have as much time as I should like to devote to the role, or indeed as much as it needs. A combination of circumstances has conspired to suck up time elsewhere. I'd like to thank everyone for their support during the years I've been assistant secretary, but family comes first.

Due to factors beyond my control, the judges voting information and forms have not been sent out, so I've posted it all on the main Association website here in the hope that the word will get around that it is there. The same rules as last year apply, i.e. you can vote for as many judges as you want who you think are good enough in only the novice and the section you enter (north, south or 8 bell) ranking them in order of preference. Voting closes on the Saturday before the AGM so get your votes in quick!

Is there much more to say? Well yes actually. I last put my head above the parapet briefly at the Lydford Competiton where I was told to treble, which explains a few things about the Exminster result, although not everything. Since then not a lot appears to have happened competition wise with only the results of the Zeal Monachorum competition appearing on the website. I know I've missed a few weeks resulting from Scott's stag do and wedding and a short ringing trip I went on, but still, is that really everything that happened up to the Kenn Deanery? Must've been.


Oh, I almost forgot, I'll but in the missing results from this year very soon...

Update! July 15th 2013

It's too hot to rant.

Update! March 4th 2014

Having a lovely day? Good. If you like to poke about in my archive (you'll have to excuse the phrasing), you'll find a nice treat! I've been given some results from the 1970s onwards that I didn't previously have and they are now in. Enjoy the extra 72 events. A big thank you to both Julia Endicott (who had the results) and Stuart Bennie (who typed them up) for making them available.

The extras mean I am now no longer stranded on 999 events, but instead have 1071 in the archive, although there may be some changes to tables that mean some of the stats that I manually change may be wrong - I haven't checked.

Update! January 24th 2014

It's time to have a little review of the last year, I know I usually do this before Christmas but, tough, this year I'm doing it a little bit later. But first a caveat: until I hear for definite any news regarding the status of the Stratton and Kilkhampton competitions for 2013, the table and any conclusions I draw from it are provisional. Chances are, however, that not a great deal is going to change, and so with that in mind I am going to say that Eggbuckland are top of the table for 2013 for the 17th time. They also topped the all comers table for the third time, although the also topped this one once before 1986 where results are much more sparse so I don’t generally take anything before then into account.

Last year saw the results of only 42 competitions get to me - down 12 from last year - with a consequential drop in the numbers of teams participating: 25 teams managed five or more competitions and 74 entered at one down from 32 and 85 last year. In terms the other less esoteric statistics it appears that not much of note happened. However there are a few statistics from the year that did break into the top ten for their categories:

  • The Woodleigh Deanery competition at Kingston comes in third on the highest average fault score list with an average of 146.83 per team
  • Eggbuckland came in joint 5th with the 1993 and 2008 teams for most competition wins in a season at 16, but this time with a much between win percentage of 80 - good enough to make it to 8th on that list
  • Eggbuckland's 2¾ score at Ide at the beginning of last season comes in 5th place on the lowest single fault score list
  • The Alphington B team got into 8th place on the highest average fault score for one year averaging 110.7 faults over their 5 competitions
  • Three teams managed to get into the highest score to win a competition top ten: Modbury B in second with 79 faults at the Woodleigh Deanery competition, South Brent in 7th with 64 faults at the Totnes Deanery and Eggbuckland a smidge behind in 8th place with 63¾ at the Plymouth and Ivybridge Deaneries competition. From this we can conclude that either the bells were tricky at all three competitions...
  • The archive now contains 999 'full' competitions spanning 55 years plus another 247 other competitions, for example winter leagues and novice competitions, that are as yet unpublished.

In other news, I've put a number of back issues of Devon Calls on the main Association web site, so you may like to go and look. Many thanks to Mike Webster for making them available.

Update! March 8th 2015

I bet you thought I'd forgotten...

Well, I haven't but I've only just got around to putting the results in from the end of last year. So with only one result that I have to go in (the Kenn Deanery) I can pretty much say that the league winners of last year was West Down.

I must say I wasn't expecting that, but there you go.

One of the reasons/excuses for the lack of any updates for last year is that I have a massive results set from Ivor Hookway to sort out. I hope to have it in soon, or at least part of it, as it makes some interesting reading.

That's it for now, see you all soon

Update! April 5th 2016

The season starts here folks! There should be lots of bits and pieces going on this year, including another all day celebration of ringing after the success of last years' Cathedral day. I know I didn't write much last year, but everything should be more or less up to date as far as the archive is concerned.

Speaking of the archive, the first competition of the year has happened and so the first set of results are already in the archive. I've got a couple of plans for this year that may see the website change during the year so keep your eyes 'pealed' (sorry, dreadful pun I know!). Look out for some results from the early 50s...

The next time I see you all, we should have a new arrival with us as it is due at any time now! Exciting times!!

There asre no updates from this year yet!

There asre no updates from this year yet!

Update! May 9th 2019

I've actually caught up with the compeittions that I haven't put on in the last couple of years. Yes, I know, finally...

That's all your getting for now, I may do another update before the year is out if I have time!

There asre no updates from this year yet!

There asre no updates from this year yet!

Update! June 27th 2022

Now that ringing has restarted after the covid enforced break I've added all the competitons that have occurred so far this year into the db.

I've been working on an upgrade to the site, but it's taking me longer than I expected so we'll all have to put up with the old site for the time being.

There asre no updates from this year yet!

Update! April 13th 2024

Just a quick note to say I'm not dead, and that I've added all last year's events that I had ready access to, and also this year's Ide competition.

See you all around and about during the year!