PICTURE SPECIAL: The bells ring out for annual Bucks bell-ringing competition

The Orchard Cup held at Chearsley - pictured top left the trophy, top right the team from Wendover in action and bottom the draw for the competition
The Orchard Cup held at Chearsley - pictured top left the trophy, top right the team from Wendover in action and bottom the draw for the competition

Bell-ringers from across Buckinghamshire went head-to-head in the latest edition of a friendly annual ringing competition on Saturday October 14.

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The Orchard Cup bell-ringing competition at Chearsley - top the bells are tested before the competition starts, bottom left Wendover in action and bottom right the teams socialise before proceedings start

The Orchard Cup bell-ringing competition at Chearsley - top the bells are tested before the competition starts, bottom left Wendover in action and bottom right the teams socialise before proceedings start

The Orchard Cup is contested between teams representing the Central Bucks Branch and the Chiltern Branch of the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers and this year Long Crendon took home the trophy.

It is named in honour of former Nether Winchendon bell-ringer, the late Fred Orchard and was first contested in 1975.

This year nine teams took part in the event held at St Nicholas Church in Chearsley with the final finishing order as follows:

1st Long Crendon, 2nd Wing, 3rd Stewkley, 4th Great Missenden, 5th Aylesbury B, 6th Aylesbury A, 7th Whitchurch, 8th Wendover, 9th Chearsley.

The Orchard Cup - left Nigel Orchard presents the trophy to winning Long Crendon captain Andrew Haseldine

The Orchard Cup - left Nigel Orchard presents the trophy to winning Long Crendon captain Andrew Haseldine

Jan Robinson from the Central Bucks Branch said: “The competition went very well and was a good social occasion too.

“Teams had a choice of what method they rung and so we had a mixture of call changes, bob doubles, grand sire and Cambridge minor methods.”

The competition rules state: “The competition is intended to foster and maintain a good relationship between the two branches and to encourage Sunday Service bands to improve their striking.

“The event should be a social occasion for members of the two branches.”

Judge Nigel Orchard (no relation to Fred Orchard) presented the trophy to Long Crendon tower captain Andrew Haseldine at the end of proceedings.