Notable Achievements

From Changeringing Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

This section lists some of the notable achievements in the world of ringing.

Because peal details are officially recorded and are readily available, statistics for peals are much easier to find that other statistics, so many of the achievements below relate to peals. However, additions of other notable achievements are very welcome if you know the details, and if you have photos of the individuals or bands, even better.

Prolific Peal Ringers

Colin M Turner became the first person to ring 5,000 peals, all on towerbells, on 24 Jun 2007 in just 31 years. This amounts to 25,338,418 changes, and this is just for the successful ones. There are many other records encompassed in this. The peals were rung with 1,152 people at 3,074 towers, and Colin rang over 200 peals a year for 16 consecutive years (from 1991 to 2006), the most being 303 (in 1989) and this is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as being the most ever rung in a single year. He has rung over 2,000 different methods, including the Surprise alphabet on 6, 8, 10 & 12 at least twice at each stage. He reached his 6,000th peal on 5 Mar 2013 and his 7,000th peal on 24 December 2016.

Elisabeth A G Bowden became the first lady to reach 4000 peals with a peal at Easthampsteadon 23 Dec 2010. It was her 1000th for the Gloucester & Bristol Diocesan Association.

Revd F E Robinson was the first person to reach 1000 peals. This was on 9 Aug 1905 according to his records but he may have missed some of his earlier peals.

Andrew B Mills became the youngest person to ring a 1000 peals on 14 Feb 1991 when he conducted Shelford Delight Minor at Shelford at the age of 23yrs 8months. This record was broken by Adam R Crocker on 22nd March 2013 when he rang a peal of Stedman Triples at the age of 23yrs 1 month and 10 days

Paul J Pascoe became the fastest person to ring 1000 Peals (from 1st to 1000th peal) in 3271 days by conducting Bristol S Major at Thorverton, Devon on the 8th December 2007 [1], and surpassed Ian R Fielding's previous record of 3275 days on 17th October 1997. He also became the fastest person to ring 2000 Peals (in 13yr 3mth) by ringing in a Peal at Bishops-Ting-Tong, Devon on the 17th April 2012 [2] surpassing Peter G C Ellis' previous record of 13yr 11mth.

Only two ringers have ever conducted more than 200 peals in a single year. In 1997 Derek E Sibson conducted 202 peals (out of 213 peals that year) all of which were tower bell peals - this being the first and only ringer to conduct over 200 tower bell peals in a single year. The only other time the 200 mark has been surpassed, was in 2004 when Andrew J W Tibbets conducted 200 peals (all in hand) out of 219 peals, and became the first and only ringer to conduct 200 peals in hand in a single year!


Current Peal Milestones

First Fastest
1000th Rev F E Robinson (1905) Paul J Pascoe (3271 days - 8yr 11mth)
2000th George E Fearn (1965) Paul J Pascoe (13yr 3mth)
3000th John R Mayne (1993) Peter G C Ellis (19yr 4mth)
4000th John R Mayne (2000) Colin M Turner (26yr 6mth)
5000th Colin M Turner (2007) Colin M Turner (31yr 4mth)
6000th Colin M Turner (2013) Colin M Turner (37yr 1mth)
7000th Colin M Turner (2016) Colin M Turner (40yr 10mth)


Andrew Craddock's Pealbase includes details of all ringers who have rung 1000 or more peals.

Gregarious Peal Ringers

The Change-ringers list in February 2008 discussed who was the most gregarious peal ringer. At that time and using Pealbase data going back to 1973 Andrew Craddock revealed that John Pladdys topped the list with 1911 ringers and Elisabeth A G Bowden was the highest ranking lady in 5th place and 1646 ringers.

Fast Learners

Peter Davey rang a handbell peal of Plain Bob Minor at the age of 17 on Thursday, 28 August 2008 less than 5 days after being taught to ring [3]

Victoria J M Wilby rang her first peal on 09 Apr 1998 6 months after her first lesson and then rang a quarter of Stedman Cinques at the Pier Head on the first anniversary of her first ringing lesson.

Jennifer A Murch rang her first peal on 30 June 2007, 24 weeks after learning to ring. Whilst a student at Hull University she rang her 49th peal on Monday, 1 December 2008, being Yorkshire S Maximus inside [4]. She was elected to the College Youthsin 2009 and rang her first peal for the Society on 19 Sep 2009.

Stefan Smith had his first handling lesson at 4pm on Sunday, 28 December 2008. By 4:45pm he was capable of ringing the Tenor to this Quarter Peal, with minimal aid from a strapper, but Stefan did all the work of the handstrokes.

Progression of Later Learners

Older people CAN learn to ring and excel!!! This section is for examples of people who started to learn as adults and have made some reasonable progress and/or contribution.

Harry Stewart learnt to ring at Melbourne, Derbys at the age of 79 and rang rounds for the first time on his 80th birthday for Sunday service. He progressed to rounds and call changes on twelve and plain hunting on seven. Whilst visiting family he joined in practices and outings in Kent, and even rang at Canterbury Cathedral. He had to give up as Parkinson's disease became too much for him and sadly he died on 30 March 2008.

Bill Titmarsh learnt to ring at Clenchwarton, Norfolk at the age of around 73. Whilst not progressing beyond rounds and call changes he displayed remarkable commitment and fortitude. Despite suffering from arthritic and rheumatic conditions which meant that he could hardly hold a coffee mug, as well as a host of other health problems, including a poor heart, new heart valves, bypasses, and God knows what else (literally) he attended every Sunday until he could no longer physically stand. He died in April 2003 and a peal was rung in celebration of his life [5]

Helen Beaumont started ringing reluctantly at the age of 51 in 2003 as chaperone to her daughter (who has since given up). Since then, with the assistance of many friends and all the ringing she can get, she has rung several quarters from Plain Bob Doubles to Grandsire Caters and Plain Bob Royal inside. Her first peal was at Abingdon, Oxfordshire on 6 Jun 2009, ringing inside to Grandsire Caters

Karl S Ryder took up ringing at the age of 40 in 2003. His first peal was trebling to Yorkshire S Major on 19 Mar 2006 at West Bridgford, Nottingham. He is Tower Captain of that active tower and a regular ringer at Nottingham St Mary where he has rung several quarters of Surprise Royal inside and trebled to Surprise Maximus eg Pudsey. On the 08/08/08 he took part in quarters of each of the Standard 8 S Major, ringing inside to all except Bristol.

Mike Lewis took up ringing as a "supporting Dad", at the age of 44 in St' Elvan's church, Aberdare, S.Wales on 4th July 2007. By December he had progressed to Bob Doubles touches and rang his 1st quarter in Jan 2008. Since then he has rung in 8 quarter peals (up to Jan 2009) and become the steeplekeeper at St' Elvan's and was temporary Tower Captain for a short while. Besides winning the "Leslie Evans Trophy" from the Swansea & Brecon Guild for most improved ringer in 2008, he also carried out work to renew the ringing room floor in a nearby tower as well as changing a clapper and several broken stays at Aberdare (including one of his own). He has gained all 4 badges in the STA bell club awards scheme and is working towards the S&B DGBR profiency certificate. Now ringing Stedman Doubles and attempting Bob Triples and Major, and looking forward (!) to his 1st Peal attempt.

Tony Lees* first started to ring in Autumn 1992 in Thrumpton, Notts (a 6cwt 6 in a very small village) at the age of 45. He rang his first quarter covering in Barton, Notts (11cwt) in April 1994, and first peal trebling to mixed minor in October 1996. After being encouraged on scoring his 3rd peal, Cambridge S Major in May 2004 he got serious about attempting to progress as far as possible. As at January 2010 he has rung a total of 37 peals including Spliced S Minor (16m), Yorkshire S Royal and Grandsire Caters inside, and boosted by 59 during 2010, 226 quarter peals (two of which he has conducted) including 8 spliced S Major atw, Glasgow Major, most of the standard 8 Surprise Royal, Grandsire Cinques and Little Bob Maximus (see Campanophile for most recent performances). His first qtr of Surprise Max (Yorkshire) was scored in Sep 2010. Following a handbell course run by the Society of Sherwood Youths he rang his first quarter in hand on 6 January 2010.

*(I have taken the liberty to add my details to demonstrate that with persistence, endeavour, the grace and patience of many others, the help of some in general and one in particular, that someone with no special talents can make some headway beyond the proverbial "plain bob doubles". There are others who started at a later age and have made really remarkable progress (see below). Their details should be an encouragement to both other ringers and their tutors.

Iris Margaret Elsie Lemare was born in London on 27 September 1902. She was musically gifted and became the first woman to conduct the BBC Symphony Orchestra, in 1937. She also was an active walker, swimmer and skier. It is believed she took up bell ringing in her mid-50's at the York Arts Centre under Harold Walker. By 1958 she had joined the Minster band and rung her first peal. Over the next 23 years she rang over 700 peals at all stages (minor to maximus) and a wide range of common and not so common methods including Lemare Surprise Major for her 79th birthday. Her final peal was 8 spliced major in the December of 1981. She died in Askham Bryan, near York on 23 April 1997. A web search will bring up many hits and there is an obituary at [6]. David Potter's obituary of Iris Lemare was in the Ringing World of May 16th 1997.

Prudence Fay took up ringing at age 50, rang her first tower and handbell peals in 1995. She has rung Glasgow, Belfast, Norman Smith's 23 on tower (148 peals) and handbells (94 peals), totalling 242 peals as at January 2010.

Young Peal Ringers

A number of youngsters have rung peals prior to their teens. The following are some examples:

Henry J W Pipe rang his first peal being 5040 Plain Bob Minor [7] on handbells (1-2) on Monday, 31 May 2010 at the age of 7 years 105 days. At the age of 9 he rang the 2nd to Cambridge S Major to score his first tower bell peal at the University Church of St Mary the Great on Thursday, 27 December 2012. At the same tower exactly a year later, aged 10, he rang the 3rd to a peal of Bristol Surprise Maximus.

Jonathan Carpenter rang his first peal (Plain Bob Minor) aged 7 at Warfield, Berks, on 19th June 1982. He was the youngest ringer to ring a working bell to a peal replacing Paul Jopp who rang his first peal at the age of 8 on 4 Nov 1966 ringing inside to Plain Bob Minor on the Stoulton Campanile. This itself was the first peal conducted by Andrew Jopp at the age of 13.

Paul Jopp went on to ring and conduct his first peal of Surprise, being Cambridge Minor, when he rang the 2nd at S Nicholas, EARLS CROOME, Worcs on Thu Apr 23 1970. It was also the first of Surprise for the ringers of the 3rd and 4th (Barbara Luckes and Andrew Jopp).

Ewan G A Hull rang his first peal at the age of 8 trebling to Plain Bob Minor at Strensall, North Yorkshire on 7 May 2011. His first on more than 6, of surprise and his first inside was on Saturday, 23 February 2013, at the age of 10 when he rang the 2nd to Cambridge Royal at St Laurence, Northfield.

Alex F Byrne rang the treble to Plain Bob Minor for his first peal whilst only 9 on 15 Dec 1979 at Hinton Waldrist, Oxon. He then went on to conduct his 6th peal, ringing an inside bell to Plain Bob Minor on 29 May 1981 at Berkeley, Glos and thus probably becoming the youngest person to call a peal at the age of 11.

Julia R Cater rang her first peal when she was 9 years and 3 months old, and went on to ring a peal of Little Bob Maximus aged 10 years 4 months, and both London Surprise Royal and Cambridge Surprise Maximus aged 10 years 9 months. She called her first peal, Plain Bob Doubles on 4 July 1981, aged 10 years and 11 months, beating Alex Byrne's record earlier the same year.

Victoria K Johnstone rang her first peal aged 11, 9 months after her first lesson in order to beat her elder brother on Sunday February 26, 2006 at Oakington, Cambridgeshire.

Jemma L Mills on Sunday, 7 January 2007 rang her first peal on the 'Pot Bells' at Shelford, Nottingham at the age of 9 [8], becoming possibly the youngest girl to ring a peal this century. The band consisted of 3 generations of the Mills family. She followed this performance with a peal of Major on Sunday, 1 June 2008 at Clifton, Nottingham [9].

Adam R Crocker rang his first peal being doubles on 29 Jan 2000 at Lemsford, Herts, just before his 10th birthday on 12th Feb. See also Prolific Peal Ringers

Thomas A F Keech rang his first peal on Sunday, 30 November 2008 at Campton, Beds whilst still aged 10 [10]. He is the youngest Bedfordshire ringer to ring a peal since Jeremy Piron (Grandsire Triples at Maulden in July 1969), who was a month younger. At the age of 7 he rang on the 16 at the Swan Bells, Perth WA and he may be the youngest person to ring in Australia.

Robert Stafford, aged 10, rang the treble to a peal of Plain Bob Major on 21 March 1927 at Whitley Bay. (with thanks to Bill Butler's "On This Day")

Andrea P L Pygott, aged 11 rang Bristol Major on the 2nd for her first peal on Friday 14th August 2009 at St Mary, Barnsley [11].

William M Regan at the age of 11 rang his first peal trebling to Grandsire Triples on Monday 30th May 2011 at Hanbury, Worcs. [12]

Edward R Mack, aged 12, on Saturday, 30 June 2007 rang his first peal at his first attempt, being Yorkshire S Royal on the 4th at St Peters, St Albans [13].

Tom and James Perrins both rang their first peals before reaching their teens. Tom rang his first peal, Grandsire Doubles, on 5th April 2003 just before his eleventh birthday. James rang his first peal, the Standard 8 major on the 2nd, at the age of 12 on Saturday 28 March 2009 at St Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney [14]. 82 year old Thomas Goodyer rang the 4th raising the question of whether this is the biggest age difference in a peal of 8-spliced. On Friday, 3 April 2009 again at St Andrew's the brothers and Tom rang inside to a quarter peal of Cambridge Surprise Maximus [15]

Fraser J Murray, aged 11, rang inside to Cambridge S Minor for his first peal on Sunday, 28 June 2009 at Halifax [16]. On Saturday July 4 he rang his second peal, again inside, to 3 minor methods at Saltaire [17]

Harriet J Dodd, at the age of 10 years 134 days, rang her first peal trebling to Grandsire Caters at St Mary, Bishopstoke, Hampshire on Saturday July 26, 2008. On Saturday, 4 December 2010 at the same tower she rang the same bell to Stedman Caters.

Matthew S Pearson, aged 11, rang the 3rd to Yorkshire S Major for his first peal at his first attempt at Christ Church, Epsom Common, Surrey on Sunday 30 October 2011.

Although 15 at the time the first peal of Alice White on 12th Feb 1896 is notable as being the first peal rung by a woman. She rang the treble to a peal of Grandsire Triples at her home tower, St Michael's Basingstoke. (with thanks to Bill Butler's "On This Day").

On the 1st December 1912 there was a handbell peal of Grandsire Doubles in the belfry of the church at Great Hampton, Worcestershire. The ringers were Ellen M Johnson (12 years old), Joseph D Johnson (13 years old), and Ruth Johnson (10 years old). Joe conducted it. The Johnsons were a very large (9 children) family from Hinton on the Green, Worcestershire. Lots of the children rang many handbell peals, usually conducted by Joe- who also called the first peal on the present bells of Worcester Cathedral. In later years, handbell peals of Kent Treble Bob Royal were rung at Hinton. Other siblings included Amy Johnson, the first lady to ring 500 peals, and Florence Johnson who married the great Tom Lewis of St. Johns, Worcester.

The youngest peal of Surprise Maximus was rung on 2 January 1984 at All Saints, Worcester. 5042 Cambridge S Maximus. 1: Stephan J Mills (13); 2 Wendy B Smith (18); 3: Julia R Cater (13); 4: Ian McNutt (16); 5: Elizabeth Anderson (17); 6: Jonathan K F Tait (16); 7: Alison J Cox (18); 8: Paul McNutt (16); 9: Martin A Smith (15); 10: David J Garton (19); 11: Andrew B Mills (16); 12: David J Pipe (C) (15). Average age 16.

Young Quarter Peal Ringers

Jason Fisher, aged just 6, rang his first quarter peal covering to Plain Bob Doubles on the 10cwt tenor at Clifton-upon-Teme, Worcs on Tuesday 23 April 2013.

Henry J W Pipe, aged just 6, rang his first quarter peal on Tuesday 26 January 2010 Plain Bob Minor in hand

Ewan G A Hull at the age of 7 rang his first quarter on the treble at Ss Philip and James, Clifton, York on Monday, 28 December 2009.

John Hinton at the age of 8 rang his first quarter trebling to Grandsire Doubles at All Saints, Little Shelford, Cambs on Friday 29th April 2011. He went on to score his 10th quarter on his tenth birthday, August 11th, ringing his first inside to Plain Bob Doubles

Nathan Joynson at the age of 8 rang his first quarter trebling to Plain Bob Doubles at All Saints, Stone, Gloucestershire on Sunday 23 October 2011.

Thirza de Kok, from Dordrecht in the Netherlands, rang her first tower bell on her own during a visit to All Saints Sapcote in August 2009. On Saturday February 20th 2010 at the age of 9 she returned to that tower to ring her first quarter peal, following her father’s footsteps of 24 years ago. The quarter was called by Thirza's brother Harm Jan (aged 13). On Saturday 28 August 2010, still at the age of 9, she rang her first quarter of major in her home town.

Rosemary Hall at the age of 9 rang her first quarter being the treble to Plain Bob Doubles on Sunday, 13 September 2009 at Old Brampton, Derbyshire.

Harriet J Dodd at the age of 9 rang her first quarter being the treble to Plain Bob Doubles on Thursday, 27 September 2007 at St Mary, Bishopstoke, Hants. She has since gone on to ring many quarter peals and a few peals.

Isaac Perry at the age of 9 rang his first quarter trebling to Plain Bob Doubles at South Petherton, Somerset on Saturday, 28 May 2011.

James P Town at the age of 9 covered to Plain Bob Doubles for his first quarter at All Saints, Northallerton, on Saturday 15 October 2011.

Florence Homewood at the age of 9 covered to Plain Bob Minimus for her first quarter at Burmarsh, Kent on Sunday 6 May 2012.

All Ladies' Peals

The first All Ladies' peal was Grandsire Triples at Poplar, Isle of Dogs, London on 20th July 1912, with Edith Parker conducting and thus becoming the first woman to reach 50 peals.

The first All Ladies' peal rung at St Paul's Cathedral, London took place on Sunday 5th August 2012 during the women's Olympic marathon, and at the same time as several other towers on the route attempted peals or other touches. The band of 1 Susan L Apter (C), 2 Ann White, 3 Elizabeth A Orme, 4 Shirley E McGill, 5 Mary E Holden, 6 Catherine N Merlane, 7 Gwen Rogers, 8 Eleanor J Linford, 9 Rebecca J Cox, 10 Gabrielle L Cowcill, 11 Claire F Roulstone and 12 Pauline C Champion & Margaret Whiteley rang 5007 Stedman Cinques.

Older Peal Ringers

On 14 September 1973, George E Symonds (b.1875 d.1974) rang a peal of Kent Treble Bob Royal at Grundisburgh, Suffolk, aged 98 years 1 month.

Pealbase includes details of nine other people who have rung peals at the age of 90 or more.

Firsts as Conductor

Julia R Cater is the possibly the youngest person to call a peal calling Plain Bob Doubles on 4 July 1981, aged 10 years and 11 months.

John R Leary is the only person to have conducted all his first peals at every stage from Doubles to Maximus. He started in the 1960's and completed the achievement with a peal Doubles at All Cannings, Salisbury on 17 Apr 1995. More about him can be read at [18]

Jennifer E Butler conducted Roddy Horton's split-tenors one-part composition of Bristol, Belfast, London and Glasgow at the age of 17, being her first as conductor and 10th towerbell peal (8 Jan 2005 Thornhill).

Alexandra A Prabhakar's first peal as conductor was Holt's Original 5,040 Grandsire Triples on 26 December 2007. On 3 April 1973, Juliet S Stoy also called this composition for her first as conductor.

Thomas M Perrins called his first peal, Grandsire Triples, at the age of 12 yrs 9 mths on Sunday January 16, 2005 at St Mark's, Darling Point, New South Wales

Stephen J Mills called from the 2nd 210 Treble Dodging Minor methods on 24th October 2004 at Shelford, Notts for his first, and so far (Apr 2012), only peal as conductor. (see next section for more details)

Ewen Hull conducted his first peal and also his first of Cinques, being Stedman at St Magnus the Martyr, London on Saturday 30 May 2015, aged 12.

Feats of Learning and Method Complexity

The pinnacle of method learning and complexity for advanced ringers on eight bells are all-the-work peals of 23 methods, the maximum in a normal length peal. Most usually these methods are learnt by ringing a series of peals which gradually build up to 23 methods. The first of these compositions was produced by Norman Smith, and rung 31 December 1966. It has since been rung almost 500 times by over 850 ringers. Stephen D Chandler subsequently produced a similar composition of 23 much more difficult methods.

Learning more than 23 methods takes the challenge to a much higher level, as it becomes very easy to confuse one method with another, and forget some methods as new ones are learnt. Taking this learning exercise to 100 methods requires considerable experience, mental agility, and an exceedingly good memory, not withstanding the challenge of keeping this up continuously for 10 hours. On Friday, 28 October 2005 a peal of 22400 Spliced Surprise Major, 100 methods, all the work was rung by an ASCY band at the Loughborough Bell Foundry in 10h 48 (6) with. 699 changes of method. Composed by: Paul Needham 1 Stephanie J Warboys 2 Philip J Earis 3 John N Hughes-D'Aeth 4 Robin O Hall 5 Andrew J Graham 6 Simon J L Linford (C) 7 David J Pipe 8 David C Brown Longest peal of Spliced Surprise. Most Spliced Surprise Major methods all the work [19]

The longest peal of Spliced Surprise Royal was rung at St Thomas, Oxford where an Ancient Society of College Youths band rang 56 methods, all the work (503 COM) being 20160 Spliced Surprise Royal on Thursday, 18 March 2010 in 11h 19m [20]

Rigel Surprise Maximus is one of the most challenging Maximus methods rung, with an apparently random blue line. On handbells, the ringers have to contend with their two bells making point blows in the middle of the rows rarely synchronised with one another. On 14 January 2006, a peal of 12672 Rigel Surprise Maximus was rung on handbells [21].

On 13th October 1984 at Shoreditch the Society of Royal Cumberland Youths rang all Surprise Maximus methods that had been rung up to the end of the previous year giving rise to a peal of 8000 Spliced Surprise Maximus in 170 methods in 5 hours and 40 minutes. [22]

Scientific is a principle, where there is no hunt bell to act as a guide, and is probably the hardest Triples method. On 12 November 2008 the first peal of 5040 Scientific Triples in hand was scored by St. Martin's Guild for the Diocese of Birmingham 1-2 William T Bosworth 3-4 Charles A S Webb 5-6 Mark R Eccleston 7-8 Alan S Burbidge (c) [23]

Minor methods present their own challenge as many methods can be rung in a short time. A feat of composition, conducting and ringing was achieved on Friday 24 Oct 1969 when a Peal of 5040 Spliced Treble Bob Minor, comprising 210 Treble dodging methods with a change of method every lead, was rung. At the time it was the most methods rung to a peal. The feat was repeated on Sunday 24 Oct 2004 2h45 [24]. Click for a background to the history of these peals.

The most methods rung all the work on tower bells was scored on on Saturday, 25 September 2010 when 147 minor methods were rung, giving 20160 changes, by the Ancient Society of College Youths at St Paul, Jewellery Quarter in 9 hours 37 minutes. John S Warboys provided the composition and it was rung by 1 Richard B Grimmett, 2 David J Pipe (C), 3 Philip J Earis, 4 Simon J L Linford, 5 Michael P A Wilby, 6 John M Thurman [25]

A silent and non conducted peal of Stedman Triples was rung at Meldreth, Cambridgeshire on 15th December 1980. It was twice the length of a usual peal and the band had to learn two very complex compositions, the first by John Noonan (http://ringing.org/main/pages/peals/composers/compositions?surname=Noonan&forenames=J) and the second by G Wilfred Slack (http://ringing.org/main/pages/peals/composers/compositions?surname=Slack&forenames=G%20Wilfred)

Higher Numbers First Peals

Ringers whose first peals were on 12 or more bells.

Date Name Tower Method Notes
13 February 1937 Albert M Tyler Tewkesbury, Glos Stedman Cinques Age 13
3 Sept 1976 Alison C Waterson Shoreditch, London Yorkshire S Maximus Age 15 (2nd)
3 Sept 1976 Hilary A Beresford Shoreditch, London Yorkshire S Maximus Age 16 (4th)
07 May 1979 Margaret A Paul Kingston upon Thames, Surrey Grandsire Cinques  
18 May 1986 Eleanor J Kippin Bristol, St Stephen Stedman Cinques  
6 Sep 1987 Michael P A Wilby London, St Sepulchre Stedman Cinques  
24 Sep 1987 Deborah L Blake Bedford, St Paul Stedman Cinques  
30 Jan 1993 Alison M Brookbanks Towcester Cambridge S Maximus  
31 Dec 1994 Luke M Atwell Towcester Little B Maximus  
31 Dec 1994 Joanna L Woolley Towcester Little B Maximus Rang inside
21 Jul 1995 Hannah L Wilby Towcester Bristol S Maximus Age 11
2 Aug 1997 Brett C Masters Towcester Cambridge S Maximus Rang inside
21 Feb 1998 Caroline Newman Bristol, St Mary Redcliffe Spliced S Maximus (5m) Rang inside
9 Jan 1999 Jennifer E Henson Towcester Bristol S Maximus  
5 Jun 1999 Joanne L Henson Towcester Yorkshire S Maximus  
4 Aug 2000 R Clive Henson Towcester Yorkshire S Maximus Rang inside
28 Oct 2000 Christopher H Barrett Reading, St Laurence Grandsire Cinques  
22 Sep 2001 Matthew E Beadman Guildford, Cathedral Bristol S Maximus Rang inside
21 Oct 2001 D Paul Mason Leicester, St Margaret Yorkshire S Fourteen Rang tenor
9 Nov 2002 Tessa K Beadman Guildford, Cathedral Spliced S Maximus (5m) Rang inside
9 Nov 2002 Dorothy M Hudson South Petherton Plain B Cinques  
11 Jan 2003 David W Kipling Llandaff Cathedral Stedman Cinques  
22 May 2004 Becky L Dunnett South Petherton Cambridge S Maximus Rang inside
5 Jun 2005 Simon A Bond Preston Minster Plain B Maximus  
5 Jun 2005 Robert V Criddle Preston Minster Plain B Maximus  
25 Feb 2006 Louise C Palmer Southwark Cathedral Stedman Cinques  
14 Oct 2006 Siân E Kipling Llandaff Cathedral Stedman Cinques  
18 Oct 2008 Lucy J Clark Southampton, Bitterne Park Grandsire Cinques  
20 Dec 2008 Anthony C Furnivall New York, Trinity Church Erin Cinques  
20 Dec 2008 Anthony P Micocci New York, Trinity Church Erin Cinques  
20 Dec 2008 Jeremy C Bates New York, Trinity Church Erin Cinques  
8 Aug 2010 Jennifer S Mackley New York, Trinity Church Plain B Maximus  
11 Sep 2010 Harriet S E Mather Portsmouth Cathedral Mather D Maximus  
14 Feb 2011 Charlotte H Stansbury Hursley Grandsire Cinques  
12 Nov 2011 Jono Chapman Shepton Beauchamp, Som Stedman Cinques Aged 15 (Tenor)
10 Jan 2015 Caroline A Prescott Guildford Cathedral Spliced S Maximus (3m) Rang inside
11 Jul 2015 Ewan Grant-Richardson Portsmouth Cathedral Yorkshire S Maximus Rang inside


Longest Peals

On Sunday, 6 May 2007 in 24h09 (9 in B), 72000 Treble Dodging Minor (100m) 1-2 Philip J Earis 3-4 Andrew J W Tibbetts (C)5-6 David J Pipe. The longest peal yet rung [26].

A full of extent of major was first rung at Leeds in Kent by 14 ringers under James Barham on April 7 and 8, 1761

The only full extent so far rung on 8 tower bells by one band of ringers was at Loughborough Bell Foundry on Saturday 27 July 1963, in 17 hours and 58 minutes. 40320 Plain Bob Major Composed by: C Kenneth Lewis, Conducted by: Robert B Smith 1 Brian J Woodruffe 2 John M Jelley 3 Neil Bennett 4 Frederick Shallcross 5 John C Eisel 6 John Robinson 7 Brian Harris 8 Robert B Smith This is the greatest number of changes ever to be rung to a tower bell peal and was the ninth attempt in as many years. 8 umpires monitored the performance.

Setting record lengths has long been a challenge to ringers and the progression of long length peals over the years for various methods and stages is summarised by the Peal Records Committee.

Fastest Peals

The fastest peal is believed to have been rung at Clare College, Cambridge, on handbells on 9 March 2003 in 47m 10s, being 5040 Plain Bob Minimus 1-2 Philip J Earis, 3-4 Andrew J W Tibbetts (C). [27]

The fastest peal on a mini ring is believed to have been rung by the Fellowship of Narnia Youths at The Jack and Jill House Campanile, Gosport on Thursday 20th March 2008 in 59m 42s (7oz), being 5040 Double Bob Minimus (210 extents) 1 Lizzie J Hough, 2 Emma L Pym, 3-4 Benjamin J Carey (C) [28]

The fastest tower bell peal on six is believed to be that rung by St Martin's Guild, Birmingham at Hadstock, Essex, S Botolph Sat Dec 14 1991 1h 13m (2 3/4) being 5040 Cambridge S Minor(7 extents)1 Tim J Peverett, 2 Anthony M Daw, 3 Julia R Cater, 4 Andrew J Mitchell, 5 David G Hull (C), 6 David J Pipe Ref: RW 1992 p. 111 This is possibly the only tower where one peal has taken over twice as long as another of the same length (eg 19 Apr 1996 in 2h 31min, 12 minor methods)

A contender for the fastest peal on six or more is that rung by the Iceni Society in Cambridge on Thursday, 4 May 2006 in 0h 59m (8 in C#) being 5040 Old Oxford Delight Minor 1-2 Philip J Earis, 3-4 David J Pipe (C), 5-6 Jeremy W Spiller

Most Peals in a day

The most peals rung in a day currently stands at 15, on handbells, with Andrew Tibbetts (conducted them all) and Philip Earis ringing in all of the peals. The peals were all minor and they were assisted by Cherril Thompson (rang in 5) and Jeremy Spiller (rang 10).

Starting at 10am on Saturday, 27 June 2009 a band comprising of Paul J Pascoe, Ian J Carey, Richard Harrison, Benjamin J Carey, Peter W J Sheppard, Edward P D Colliss, Christopher C P Woodcock and Andrew B Mills rang 10 peals of S Major at Marston Bigot, Somerset (20lbs) starting with 9 spliced and then ringing each of the methods individually, concluding the next day at 8.23am with a successful peal of Yorkshire. This beat the previous record of 9 peals rung in 2000 and was achieved despite the need to re-hang the tenor after peal 6. The peals are accredited to The Fellowship of Narnia Youths.

Most Quarter Peals in a day

In December 2013 the change-ringers list discussed the record for Quarter Peals in one day. It is likely that the number stands at 28 rung within a 24hr period performed at Mablethorpe and there is a footnote to a 2007 quarter peal "In affectionate memory of Keith N Buckingham, immediate past master of the Lincoln DGCBR. Keith was a member of the band in the successful world record attempt, ringing 28 quarter peals in 24 hours on these bells."

Heavy Bell Ringers

Peter Border on Saturday, 13 August 1966 [29]was the only ringer last century to turn the tenor in at Liverpool Cathedral (82cwt), the heaviest 12 bell tower in the world to a peal, being Cambridge S Maximus. The feat was matched by Andrew B Mills on Saturday, 8 December 2007 [30] also ringing Cambridge S Maximus and then again by Gordon R Birks on Thursday 17 November 2011 [31] with Andrew Mills ringing the second to Yorkshire S Maximus. At 4h 46 Mins this may be the slowest tower bell peal ever rung. The floodgates have now appear to have been opened with the following performance(s): Matthew J Young Tuesday, 1 January 2013, Yorkshire Max, again accompanied by ABM now on the 11th.

Also in recent years Liverpool Cathedral has taken the accolade of having had rung the heaviest and longest 10 bell peal on Tuesday, 28 August 2007 [32] and then heaviest 8 bell peal on Saturday, 15 November 2008 [33]

Andrew B Mills also rang in the 4 peals of S Maximus in one day in London as part of an ASCY band on 11 June 2005 finishing with ringing the tenor to Cambridge S Maximus at Cornhill (42cwt).

Thomas J Waterson on 26th February 2011 became the youngest person (aged 19yr 8mth) to ring a peal on the tenor at Exeter Cathedral (72cwt) ringing it to a peal of Stedman Cinques [34], being 9 months younger than Matthew J Hilling who had previously rung it to a peal of Grandsire Caters on 29th November 1997 (aged 20yr 5mth).

James W Washbrook on 25th April 1895 turned in the tenor at Wells Cathedral (56cwt), the heaviest 10 bell tower in the world to a peal of Kent Treble Bob Royal. The previous December he had rung it single-handed to a peal of Grandsire Caters. It was considered impossible at that time to ring a peal on the bell with only one ringer. ref: Pealbase - On this day Matthew R T Higby on 7th March 1992 became the youngest person (aged 17yr 6mth) to ring a peal on the tenor at Wells Cathedral (56cwt) to a peal of Stedman Caters. Rather amusingly, the conductor that day was Timothy F Collins who had previously held the record of being the youngest person to ring a peal there, having rung the tenor to a peal of Stedman Caters on 27th June 1970 (aged 19yr 1mth).

Timothy F Collins on 28th December 1970 is believed to be the youngest person (aged 19yr 7mth) to ring a peal on the tenor at Sherborne Abbey (46cwt), the heaviest 8 bell tower in the world to a peal of Superlative S Major.

Samuel M Austin on the 9th July 2004 became the youngest person (18yr 11mth) to ring the tenor at St Buryan, Cornwal (37cwt), the heaviest 6 bell tower in the world to a peal of Minor [35] in 4hrs. Although, Thomas J Waterson on 13th February 2011 (aged 19yr 8mth) is the youngest person to ring the tenor to a peal of Surprise Minor [36] - scoring the peal in 3h 33mins. Only three people as yet have circled the six bells at St Buryan, Cornwall to peals, Chris Venn and Christopher J Pickford both achieved the feat on 26th December 1996, and Paul J Pascoe became only the third on 2nd October 2011 [37].

Light Bell Ringers

Brockenhurst, Hampshire. (Jennie's Old Bedroom Ring) on Sunday 17th May 2009, a peal of 5040 Cambridge S Minor is the lightest ever bells yet rung to a Peal by rope and wheel. [38] With a tenor weighing just 2oz (around 57 grams); this peal was arranged and rung for the 20th anniversary of Jim Hodkin's first peal and was the first peal on the bells. Rung in 1h 47min by 1 Adam Welch, 2 Edward P D Colliss, 3 Graham J Wright, 4 Robert Perry, 5 James A Hodkin, 6 Paul J Pascoe, and conducted by Paul Pascoe.

Double-handed Towerbell Ringing

In addition to the following Pealbase publishes details of Double Handed Peal ringers.

On 19 Sep 1901 the first double-handed peal on tower bells was performed by James W. Washbrook who rang 3 and 4 to a peal of Grandsire Triples at Arklow, Ireland. [39]. This performance received criticism from the editor of The Bell News, Harvey Reeves and others, who doubted that the peal could have been struck accurately Washbrook repeated the performance the following week in the presence of some of the best ringers in Ireland. (ref: Bill Butler's "On this day").

On 29 Apr 1961 the first tower bell peal to be rung with only three ringers took place at Preston Candover, Hants. The peal of Plain Bob Minor was rung by Tony Price 1-2, Frank C Price 3-4 with Frank T Blagrove ringing 5-6 and conducting. (ref: Bill Butler's "On this day").

On 22 Aug 1964 the first peal of Major to be rung by only four ringers was scored being Plain Bob at Balcombe, Sussex (9cwt). 1-2 Tom Chapman 3-4 Frank C Price (conductor) 5-6 Frank T Blagrove and 7-8 Tony Price.

On 17 Oct 1981 Jill M. Liddle became the first woman to ring two tower bells to a peal when she rang Bob Minor at Rushbury, Salop (ref: Bill Butler's "On this day").

On 18 Jan 1990 6 ringers rang a peal of 5016 Plain Bob Maximus at Lockington, Leics (14-1-1) in 3hrs 2min (Arr RBS). 1-2 Peter LR Hayward 3-4 Paul Jopp 5-6 Robert B Smith 7-8 Frank C Price 9-10 Alan Cattell 11-12 Andrew B Mills (ref Front Page RW 16/3/90). A year later the ringer of the tenors rang 4-5 at Limerick (23 Apr 1991 Grandsire Triples) but the most challenging performance is probably ringing 2-3 to Norman Smith's 23 spliced for the Southwell Diocesan Guild at Kinsbury, Warwickshire on 9th July 1991 (5152 in 3hr 6m 17cwt). 1 Andrew D Higson 2-3 Andrew B Mills 4 Frances Dodds 5 David J Pipe 6 David G Hull 7 David G Adams 8 Paul Needham. Conducted by David G Hull. Most Spliced major methods yet rung double-handed. The most methods currently rung double-handed is 196 Spliced Plain Minor at Millcroft Campanile by Jeremy W Spiller

On 29 Mar 2002* a band of 6 ringers rang the first double handed peal of Bristol Surprise Maximus on the Piltdown House Campanile in 3 hours and 7 minutes (RW ref 4747.0388) 1-2 Andrew J Mitchell 3-4 Stephen J Mills 5-6 Michael P A Wilby 7-8 David J Pipe 9-10 Andrew B Mills 11-12 Anthony M Daw TENOR 22lb 7oz in Eflat *The website shows the date as Friday April 29th 2002 [40]

Peter L R Hayward became the first person to ring two non-adjacent bells to a peal, as a bet with the Newark District that it could not be done, when he rang the treble and fourth to a peal of Plain Bob Minor at Ossington, Notts on 24 Jul 1980. It is incorrectly recorded on p713 of RW 15/8/1980 as being 1-2. At the time of writing (July 2012) he remains the only person to have rung such peals and has rung peals of minor on all 15 possible combinations of pairs of bells (adjacent and non-adjacent). The list of peals can be seen on Pealbase

Call Changes

Often thought to be a learning curve to more complicated Change-Ringing, Call-Changes are rung in Devon to a near perfect standard - however the (full) 5040 extent on 7 bells has only ever been rung by Call-Changes twice.

With all changes (prior and subseqeuent to a call) being unrepeated this represents a 'huge' achievement in both memory for the conductor(s), and concentration of the band itself!

The first performance on 17th March 1990 [41] was rung in 6hr 36min at Buckland in the Moor, Devon by a local band and included 3 conductors.

The second performance on 30th September 2000 [42] was completed in 5hr 33min at the same tower (Buckland in the Moor, Devon) but by just one conductor Paul J Pascoe, and remains the longest touch of Unrepeated Call-Changes yet called by one single conductor - with most changes being called at EVERY handstroke.

As a warm up, 1000 Unrepeated Call-Changes (28th December 1999) [43] and 2000 Unrepeated Call-Changes (1st September 2000) [44] were also achieved before the day - these also being the longest touches of Call-Changes by a single conductor prior to the performance on the day!

Both performances remain the longest and only times that Call-Changes have yet been rung to the extent on 7 bells - the illusive Call-Change 'peal' .

Emulating Ringers of the Past

Richard B Grimmett on Tuesday, 6 February 2007 conducted a peal of Stedman Triples wearing a blindfold throughout, emulating W H Barber's achievement at Gateshead on February 21st, 1908. [45].

Herbert Knight became the first person to conduct a peal of Stedman Triples whilst blindfolded on 12th October, 1907. He used Thurstan’s One-Part peal and it was his eighth attempt. Ref: Bill Butler's blog

Most Bells Rung to Changes

Grid of the 100 change RW Centenary touch on 24 bells

Most handbells rung to a touch

The greatest number of handbells rung to changes is 24. On 26 March 2011, at the Methodist Hall, Westminster, London, 100 changes were rung on 24 bells by 12 ringers in front of an audience of approximately 1000 ringers at the Ringing World's centenary celebration. The eight minute touch was composed especially for the occasion by Philip Earis and the only opportunity for the ringers to practice was earlier that day. The ringers were: 1-2 Jenny Butler; 3-4 Mark Eccleston; 5-6 Philip Earis; 7-8 Philip Saddleton; 9-10 John Hughes-D'Aeth; 11-12 Paul Mounsey; 13-14 David Brown; 15-16 David Pipe (Conductor); 17-18 Tom Hinks; 19-20 Alex Byrne; 21-22 Simon Melen; 23-24 Michael Wilby. A grid of the 100 change touch is shown to the right.

Videos of the 24-bell ringing

  1. close-up of the front bell ringers
  2. from the audience's perspective

Handbell Peals

First Handbell Peal

On Wednesday 21 June 2017, Pip Dillistone rang 3-4 to a peal of Bristol Surprise Maximus, his first handbell peal. Prior to this, he had minimal experience of ringing on handbells at all, other than using a simulator, having rung just four handbell quarter peals. [46]

Most Handbells Rung to a Peal

The greatest number of handbells rung to a peal is 22. 5040 Little Bob Twenty-two was rung at Bray on 9 July, 1978.

Sixteen Bells, Eight Methods

The greatest number of S methods to a peal on sixteen bells was rung in MELBOURNE, Derbys on Mon Jun 9 1997 3h49 (18). 5056 Spliced Surprise Sixteen (8m: 768 Newgate; 704 York; 640 Ealing, Parkhurst, Sawley, Wembley; 576 Feering; 448 Leatherhead: 78 com.) Composed by David J Marshall. 1-2 Rupert A Clarke 3-4 Robert B Smith (C) 5-6 John M Jelley 7-8 Simon C Melen 9-10 Paul Jopp 11-12 Roland H Cook 13-14 David J Marshall 15-16 Christopher M Wulkau [47]

Four in hand

On Mon Nov 4 1991 in 3h (12)in Sawley, Derbys a peal of 5040 Yorkshire Surprise Royal (Arr RBS) was rung with the following 4 ringers: 1-2 Paul Jopp 3-4 Robert B Smith (cond) 5-6 John Jelley 7-8-9-0 Simon (ref "four in hand" Page 1100,1156 RW 1991). On Sunday, 6 January 2013 Simon Melen extended the feat to maximus, ringing 9-10-11-12 to Bristol with 1–2 Jennifer E Earis, 3–4 Elizabeth A Orme, 5–6 Philip J Earis, 7–8 David J Pipe (C) and a video of one lead is here [48].

Other occasions that 'four in hand' are known to have been rung were on 21st October 1926 when Edward Hims rang 1,2,3,4 to a peal of Stedman Doubles at Bicester. ref Bill Butler's On This Day and when William (Bill) H Male rang 1, 2, 3, 4 to a peal of Grandsire/Plain Bob Doubles in Warwick St Mary's ringing room on 30th April 1964, (Geoff Randall ringing the tenors to his first handbell peal).

Tapping Peals

Arthur T. Morris on 26th August, 1921 tapped out a peal of 5600 London S Major on handbells (ref article by Joe Roast in the RW in 1976)

Elijah Roberts on 30th June 1833 tapped 5016 Stedman Cinques on handbells at Birmingham. Henry Cooper called the bobs, and Henry Johnson was a witness. (ref: Edward Martin and further details from Bill Butler's "On this day" ). He surpassed this peformance on 23rd March 1837 when he tapped 19,440 Kent Treble Bob Maximus, taking 13 hours and 43 minutes. (ref RW1911/514)

Harry Withers in Birmingham tapped several peals out. It is also understood that he did about 3 hours of Kent Treble Bob 20 but ran out of time. This would have been circa 1910 (ref: Richard Grimmett).

Samuel Thurston on 1st July 1809 tapped on handbells plain courses of Bob Triples, Bob Major, Reverse Bob Major, Double Bob Major and Grandsire Caters. A contemporary account notes: "This was considered to be the greatest performance ever completed by one man in the world." (ref: Bill Butler's Blog "On this day" )

Bill Male could "ring" Holt's Original on the model tower that he built. It has 10 bells and is sounded by pressing down wooden keys. It is now situated in the ringing room at St Mary's church in Warwick.

On a Piano

John Harrold could play Bob Major on the piano when he was a young lad in the 1970s (Martin Kirk).

Harry Withers also played a plain course of Scientific Triples, possibly on a piano, which was the first time that it had been heard! (ref: Edward Martin).

Roger Baldwin could play Bristol Major on the piano and still hold a conversation whilst he was at Nottingham University in the 1970's recalls Pat Halls.

Laurie Wey used to play Cambridge Max on the piano according to what Tony Nunn has heard.

Bill Male is said to be able play "Holt's Orignal" on the piano and also the violin.

Singing Ringing

Clement Glenn used to entertain Southwell Guild meetings by singing touches of Stedman Triples. He would invite listeners to put the bobs in, but there were never any volunteers. (David Marshall)

On a Saxaphone

Mr W C Hunt played a course of Duffield on a saxophone as part of the entertainment at the Society of Sherwood Youths 1926 annual dinner in Nottingham (RW1926/90) (with thanks to Bill Butler's "On This Day")

Walking to Ring a Peal

Possibly not so unusual at the time ringers of the Society of Sherwood Youths on Tue May 23 1820 walked from Nottingham to Chesterfield, approx 28 miles, to ring a peal for the "opening of the bells".

Ringing whilst Blindfolded

On 15th Mar 2012, six blindfolded ringers rang 1296 Cambridge Surprise Minor at St Paul, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham. Conducted by Richard Grimmett it was believed to be the first quarter rung with every ringer blindfolded throughout. [49]

Repeating Historical Performances

On Saturday 3 November 2012 Cliff Izzard rang the tenor for a peal of Caters at Kempston, Beds. He has rung this bell for the Queen's Coronation, Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees and may be the only person to do this.[50]