Three young bell ringers took part in the Ringing World National Youth Contest in Birmingham on Saturday.
The trio – Archie Stanley, 13, and Elizabeth Cooley, 12, from Barrowby and William Carter, 12, from Harlaxton – were part of a team of nine ringers aged 18 and under, called the Lincolnshire Poachers, who are from all over the northern half of Lincolnshire.
The contest gave them the opportunity to make friends with other bell ringing youngsters from outside the local area.
In the morning, they rang their contest piece at St Edburgha’s Church, Yardley, after which they could relax and enjoy themselves. They then went on to ring the 12 bells at St Alphege, Solihull, before going into the centre of Birmingham where they rang on the 16 bells at St Martin’s, the Chamborough Mini-ring (mobile belfry) and the eight bells at St Chad’s. St Martin’s is one of only three churches in the world where it is possible to ring 16 bells using the English method of whole circle bell ringing, the other two being in Ireland and Australia.
Melissa Blanchard, tower captain of the Barrowby Bell Ringers, said: “The Lincolnshire Poachers were awarded a C minus which was well deserved, and all contestants were presented with a medal.
“The youngsters all had a challenging and exciting day, even if it was very long and tiring for them.
“There are always opportunities for anyone wanting to have a go at bell ringing as there are far more bells in England (and the world) than ringers to ring them. Bell ringing is open to anyone aged 11 and over; no experience is needed as full training will be given.”