The Tewkesbury Shield 2014


The 42nd Tewkesbury Shield too place on Saturday May 3rd in glorious spring sunshine. All of the teams taking part had entered in previous years including the winners of the 2013 competition, The Derby Diocesan Association.



Ringers who weren’t even taking part in the competition came from far and wide just to listen to the ringing and to soak up the atmosphere of the Tewkesbury Shield.


The test piece was a touch of Plain and Little Bob Royal. These are methods which are on their own somewhat simple, so a touch was chosen to stretch the teams a bit by calling the bells in the mega-tittums position, testing if the big and little bells can interleave well.


The judges were from Worcester Cathedral, led by Mark Regan and assisted by Alistair Smith, Nick Brown and Saskia Frisby.


At the adjudication, Mark introduced his fellow judges, Alistair and Nick, who gave their comments on each team.


Team A (St Martin’s Guild)
This team took a cautious approach producing measured 'row by row' regimented ringing. The steady pace made the tittums course harder the execute for the little bells. However apart from a very small trip it was a clean peace of ringing with structure. Peal speed 3:35.

Team B (Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild)

There seemed to be some overly cautious in the ringing which led to often slow handstroke leads and the front bells found working together difficult at times. They also rang the little bob better than the plain bob, and found the mega-tittums difficult. Peal speed: 3:37


Team C (Worcester and Districts Association)
This team did not complete the test piece.

Team D (Sussex County Association)

The opening rounds felt quite uncertain, a theme which continued throughout the test piece. The ringing tended to be "row by row" without an agreed speed which led to a real struggle to get through the megatittums leads. However, this was the first time we felt that the treble was rung very well and there were glimpses of good ringing. Method mistakes cost this team a lot. Peal speed: 3:35


Team E (Derby Diocesan Association)

This team used their practice well by ringing up to the tittums course. The test piece set off with purpose and they rang the tittums course well. Faults were mainly picked by the change occasionally spreading from the back, affecting the leading of the next change.  A small error was recovered very quickly but otherwise a very clean pleasant piece of ringing to listen to. Peal speed 3:34


Team F (Salisbury Diocesan Guild)

This team's opening rounds were good and they started with purpose. The front bells found the megatittums difficult, and there were 3 serious method mistakes which they struggled to recover from. This was a real shame as the team had winning potential but struggled to maintain it because of the mistakes. However, there was good rhythm throughout the piece.

Peal speed: 3:26


Team G (University of London Society)
There should have been more opening rounds, as the ringing was not settled entering the test piece. This set the scene for the early stages of the touch, experiencing veritable speeds and rhythms. The ringing did settle down and showed potential but unfortunately a serious mistake set them back to square one. However they stuck with it and saw it through to the end. Peal speed 3:31

Team H (Oxford Diocesan Guild)

This test piece was in two halves. There was a small struggle during the megatittums with 2, 3, 9, 0 not working as well as they could have with each other. There were also many faults coming out of the position. However the second half was much better resulting in what we felt was the best finish of the day. Overall this piece was very enjoyable to listen to and had definite winning potential, but they were just not quite there. Peal speed: 3:25


Team I (Welsh Colleges Society)
Started well with a good speed but didn't capitalise as the ringing slipped back into a slower pace producing really quite stodgy patches of ringing. The pace however remained consistent and the changes roughly the same length. We felt that this team perhaps didn't ring together very much and with more practice could have reached their full potential. Peal speed 3:27

The results were read out by Saskia.

1st - Derby Diocesan Association, 80%

2nd - Oxford Diocesan Guild, 78%

3rd - St Martin's Guild, 73%

4th - Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild, 71%

5th - Salisbury Diocesan Guild, 65%

6th - Welsh Colleges Society,  62%

7th - Sussex County Association, 56%

8th - University of London Society, 53%

9th - Worcestershire and Districts, (disqualified)



The Tewkesbury Shield was presented to Simon Humphrey by the Tewkesbury Borough Mayor Councillor Mrs C. Wright


Hugh Evans, the Chairman of the Gloucester and Bristol Association, gave a vote of thanks to all those who had helped with the competition, including the hard-pressed volunteers in the Abbey’s tea room who between them raised about £840 for the Abbey.


Next year’s competition will be held on Saturday May 2nd, so teams wishing to enter in the draw for places should look out for an advert in October.


Congratulations to the Derby Diocesan Association team on winning this year’s competition yet again!


David Bagley