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Exeter Rings Home National Bell Trophy

A team of Exeter Bellringers have won the National 12 Bell Striking Contest for the first time in the competitions history, making them one of only eight elite teams to have ever won the competition.

The Exeter team (clockwise from front right): Paul Pascoe, Alison Waterson, Sue Sawyer, Jenny Sparling, Pauline McKenzie, Susan Sparling, Ian Smith, Oliver Coldrick, Richard Harrison, David Hird, Matthew Hilling, Ian Fielding.


The twelve competitors of the Exeter team are all members of the Exeter Cathedral Society of Ringers and travel from all over Devon (Okehampton, Barnstaple, Torquay, Crediton & Exeter) to ring at Exeter Cathedral.

Matt Hilling, the Ringing Master at Exeter Cathedral said “I am so proud of the team for pulling out all the stops to win this competition. For me this means so much, it’s something we have been working towards for many years and we have really put Exeter “on the map” in terms of being serious contenders.  When the result was announced on Saturday I was overjoyed and quite emotional. The roar that erupted in the Cathedral sent shivers down my spine.  As to what clinched it, probably lots of practice, good team work and focus on consistency.”

Matthew Hilling receiving the trophy (l-r): Andrew Wilby from John Taylor & Co, Dean, Matthew Hilling


The Dean of Exeter, the Very Rev Jonathan Greener, said: “What a fantastic day.  The bellringers have been building up to this for a number of years, and together it all came together and they managed to bring home the trophy.  There was uproar in the cathedral when their victory was announced, and not a few tears.  We are all immensely grateful for the hard work that went into the day, and thrilled with Exeter’s success in the competition.”

The results