WOOTTEN-UNDER-EDGE STRIKING COMPETITION 1816
PAINSWICK RINGERS SILVER CUP – by David Thornton
I thought I'd share with readers of The Ringers World the details and pictures of a lovely Georgian silver mug which I recently purchased at a local auction and has an interesting bellringing inscription. The pint mug is engraved with the following contemporary inscription on the front ....
"This CUP was RUNG for on the 5th of June 1861 at Wootten Underedge (sic) by PUBLIC ADVERTISEMENT and was WON by the PAINSWICK RINGERS as declared by three Umpires from three
seperate (sic) Companies"
with a further inscription underneath the foot.....
"The CHASING and ENGRAVING of this Cup together with a PEAL of twelve choice hand BELLS was given this COMPANY by their zealous Friend Mr.Thomas Spring of LONDON. A Native of this Town"
The actual mug itself has a 1 pint capacity and is made from sterling silver, fully hallmarked for London 1815, made by William Bateman (grandson of the well-known lady silversmith Hester Bateman) Originally the main body of the mug would have been plain, the floral chased decoration probably added in the Victorian period as was the fashion at the time.
In the 18th and 19th century silver cups were often donated by local dignitaries and land owners for prizes at agricultural / livestock shows and sporting events such as horse racing and cricket matches. I have been buying and selling antiques for nearly 30 years and ringing for almost as long! In all this time I have never
come across a piece of this age made from silver with a bellringing connection. A rare piece indeed!
There are some details on the Internet about Painswick (Gloucestershire) their impressive peal of bells and The Painswick Youths, however I'd be interested to find out more about this competition. Was it a 'one off' or
an annual striking competition?
Who was Thomas Spring and what was his connection to see this unique piece of bellringing history (before it finds a new home!) then you are welcome to come along to one of our practise nights (Wednesdays 7.30pm) at St James the Great, Stonesfield, Oxfordshire and I will bring it along.
I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org