Chester Cathedral is set to play host to the first ever North West 12 Bell Striking Competition at the Addleshaw Bell Tower this weekend.
The cathedral will welcome teams from across the North West including Liverpool, Macclesfield and Shrewsbury for a day of competitive ringing.
The teams will be measured on the accuracy of their ringing. The aim is to ensure each bell is ringing in an overall sequence without getting too close to the bell it is striking after or leaving too wide a gap.
Traditionally human judges sitting outside the bell tower have been the only ones to decide who wins. They will still be used for the competition and will be stationed in Beatons Tearooms but a computerised device – popularly know as Hawkear – will be the ultimate judge. The performance of each team will be recorded and analysed by this piece of software and a percentage of accuracy will be awarded to each team.
The North West 12 Bell Striking Competition will follow in the footsteps of a number of other well-established 12 Bell Ringing competitions including the UK-wide National 12 Bell Ringing Competition.
Ringing Master at Chester Cathedral, Paul Hunter, said:
“We are very excited about the North West competition and are looking forward to welcoming six teams, plus a few supporters, and also local ringers who have turned up just to listen and the enjoy the atmosphere. We hope this competition will become a regular item on the ringing calendar and are keen to raise the profile of North West ringing.”
The competition will take place on Saturday 28 January 2017 at the Addleshaw Bell Tower, Chester Cathedral, 11.30am – 3.30pm.
Members of the public will not be able to access the tower during competition hours but are encouraged to come along and listen from the outside.