Leeds bellringers hit right notes in competition

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A TEAM of a dozen bellringers from Leeds proved they are a big noise after reaching the final of a prestigious national competition.

The Leeds Minster bellringing team have won through to the finals of the National 12-bell Striking Contest.

Wakefield Cathedral Bell Ringing competition.. Competitors are pictured practicing before the competition..SH10013086c..28th March 2015 Picture by Simon Hulme

Wakefield Cathedral Bell Ringing competition.. Competitors are pictured practicing before the competition..SH10013086c..28th March 2015 Picture by Simon Hulme

They placed third out of the seven teams competing in one of three first round heats held at Wakefield Cathedral on Saturday.

It was the first time Wakefield Cathedral had played host to the the competition, which was first held in 1975.

Now the Leeds Minster team will compete in the final to be held at At St Peter Mancroft in Norwich on June 2.

Leeds Minster team member Adrian Moreton, 56, said competitors have to combine a good sense of rhythm with split-second timing to compete with the country’s best bell ringers.

Wakefield Cathedral , which hosted the Bell Ringing competition...SH10013086m..28th March 2015 Picture by Simon Hulme

Wakefield Cathedral , which hosted the Bell Ringing competition...SH10013086m..28th March 2015 Picture by Simon Hulme

The aim is for each bell to sound accurately amongst the others, so there is a regular gap between each sound – known as ‘good striking.’

Father-of-three Mr Moreton – a bell ringer for more than 40 years and the current Towermaster at Wakefield Cathedral – rings for around 20 hours a week during practice sessions and church services.

He said: “There was a very large cheer when we realsied we had qualified as we werent’ expecting to get through.”

Describing the appeal of bellringing, Mr Moreton said: “There is satisfaction in getting the timing right. Getting 12 ringers working together and getting it sounding right, it is very satisfying when it happens like that.

Winners on Saturday were the Ancient Society of College Youths and the Society of Royal Cumberland Youths, both London-based teams.

Mr Moreton, of Wakefield, said: “When the top two teams were ringing I could tell they were some way ahead of everybody else.

They were just more accurate than we were. They got the speed right. We rang a little too slowly.”

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