Birmingham bell ringers win national contest

Birmingham bell ringers at work Photo: ITV Central

A band of bell ringers from Birmingham have won the annual national twelve-bell striking contest, beating hopefuls Melbourne into second place to lift the coveted Taylor trophy.

It's the 37th year of the competition but yesterday was the first time it had been held in Derbyshire. The Melbourne team were hoping that ringing at home, on their own bells, might give them the edge.

It was not to be. Birmingham are the undisputed heavyweights of this competition - they had won it eighteen times going in to yesterday's final; their nineteenth victory now means they've won half of the competitions they've entered.

The highest that plucky Melbourne have placed in the past is fourth, so they will be happy with second in a field that included teams from some of the UK's biggest cathedrals such as Exeter, York and St Paul's.

Next year's final will be held in Ripon, North Yorkshire.