The Ringing World National Youth Contest for the Whitechapel Trophy, first held at St Saviour, Pimlico in March 2011, was initially conceived as a “one off” event as part of the Ringing World’s Centenary celebrations. However, after the resounding success of this first contest, in which twelve teams took part, The Ringing World decided to hold the National Youth Contest again and thus it became firmly established as an annual event in the ringing calendar, held on various Saturdays in June or July. The second contest in Birmingham attracted 15 teams, with 16 teams entering both the 2013 and 2014 contests in York and Worcester respectively. The 2015 contest in Oxford attracted a record entry of 19 teams from across the country.
Since the first contest, the overall format had remained broadly the same, with competition ringing taking place during the course of the day on an easy going, fairly light ring of 8 (or back 8 at a 10 bell tower), with a 20 minute slot for each team (5-6 hours of ringing with 16 teams), judged by 1 Chief Judge, assisted by usually 3 younger judges. In addition to the competition ringing, general ringing at other towers and other activities have been organised. However, it was always recognised that there was a limit to the size of the entry which could be accommodated using this format, and the record entry at Oxford highlighted the need to make some strategic decisions about the future direction of the RWNYC to ensure that it could continue to accommodate an increasing number of applicants whilst maintaining the quality of the experience for everyone who participates. A consultation exercise therefore took place, as a result of which changes to the format were implemented for 2016, 2017 and 2018.
We look forward to welcoming teams, supporters and anyone interested in finding out more about what ringing has to offer at the next RWNYC!