ON Saturday, May 11 Down St Mary Bellringers won first place at the Devon Association of Ringers annual Devon North Church Bellringing Competition retaining the George Facey Shield, winning it for the sixth time in seven years!

The competition was held at Uplowman, East Devon and was also the qualifying round for the Major Final being held at Kentisbeare on June 8 where the winner and five highest placed teams compete against the six similarly qualifying teams from Devon South.

The Uplowman bells proved challenging to ring due to the ropes not having been checked and adjusted for correct length prior to commencement of the competition!

Marked by expert judges who listen to the same ringing peals over a duration of 15 minutes each, faults are given depending on a number of factors, including the quality of bell striking and the rising and lowering of the bells.

Results: 1 Down St Mary - 26¾ Faults, 2 Sampford Courtenay - 34¾ Faults, 3 Swimbridge - 39¼ Faults, 4 Bow - 45 Faults, 5 East Anstey - 50¾ Faults and 6 Tiverton St Paul - 68¾ Faults.