The winners of the 2006 Striking Competition (York) having a joint practice with the losers (Leeds) held a certain ironic appeal for us. We, as the losers, were hoping that York would improve our ringing, so that we can surprise everyone, and win next year (but we take no responsibility if by some strange twist of fate they lose!). A formal arrangement for combined practices was arranged- Leeds go to York on the first Sunday of every month, and York come to Leeds on the third Monday.
The day York were due to ring with Leeds was highly stressful for many reasons. Firstly, it was perishingley cold, and we were afraid that York would be put off. We provided hot drinks and biscuits, just incase! Secondly, the previous attempt at a joint practice had ended up being moved to the pub, because of a lack of electricity. Thirdly, changing the light bulb in the bell room proved immensely problematic and unsuccessful, so we knew any equipment breakages on the night would be irreparable.
York turned up, and as members of LUSCR suddenly became able to learn methods in an evening, we rang exciting methods like Bristol and Yorkshire major. With the added expertise of York, we were able to ring Stedman and Grandsire triples. This may not sound like an achievement to you, but a strong and confident band really made the difference to us. As normal, practice finished in the pub, and we managed to steer the conversation away from ringing.
On the return visit to York however, things took a slightly different focus from the very beginning. Leeds suggested a social event first, where as York wanted to ring quarters. So we split, with each society doing what we do best... York had booked a 10bell tower, which gave some of our members a good introduction to their 10bell ringing.
Next term we hope to continue our alliance, and ring some joint quarters, as York ring too many, and Leeds don’t ring enough.
Annelise Felton and Charlotte Davies