This section lists some of the notable achievements in the world of ringing.
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Infamous or "not so notable achievements" can be found here
Colin M Turner became the first person to ring 5000 peals on 24 Jun 2007
Peter Davey rang a handbell peal of Plain Bob Minor on Thursday, 28 August 2008 less than 5 days after being taught to ring 
A number of youngsters have rung peals prior to their teens. The following are some examples:
Victoria K Johnstone rang her 1st peal aged 11, 9 months after her 1st 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 Bell' at Shelford, Nottingham at the age of 9 , 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 
Thomas A F Keech rang his first peal on Sunday, 30 November 2008 at Campton, Beds whilst still aged 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.
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 
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. 
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 
Peter Border on Saturday, 13 August 1966 and Andrew B Mills on Saturday, 8 December 2007 are the only ringers to single handedly turn in the 82cwt Liverpool tenor to peals, both ringing Cambridge S Maximus. Subsequently Liverpool Cathedral has taken the accolade of having had rung the heaviest and longest 10 bell peal on Tuesday, 28 August 2007  and then heaviest 8 bell peal on Saturday, 15 November 2008 
On Friday, 28 October 2005 a peal of Spliced Surprise Major, 100 methods, all the work, 22400 was rung by an ASCY band at the Loughborough Bell Foundry in 10h 48 (6). 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 
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 
On 12 November 2008 the first peal (5040) of 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) 
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. 8 umpires monitored the performance.
On 18 Jan 1990 6 ringers rang a peal of 5016 Plain Bob Maximus at Lockington, Leics (14-1-1). Andrew B Mills rang 11-12. The same ringer rang 2-3 to Norman Smith's 23 spliced at Kinsbury, Warwickshire on 9th July 1991, and 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)
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 
A.T. Morris in 1921 tapped out a peal of 5600 London S Major on handbells (ref article by Joe Roast in the RW in 1976)
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".
Older people CAN learn to ring
This section is for examples of people who started to learn as adults and have made some reasonable progress.
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.
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 November 2008 he has rung a total of 20 peals including Spliced S Minor (16m), Yorkshire S Royal and Grandsire Caters inside, and 160 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). A first attempt at a qtr of Yorkshire S Max inside collapsed just into the 2nd course.
*(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 no doubt many who started at a later age who have made really remarkable progress and it would be good to see their details here as an encouragement to both other ringers and their tutors. I fully support the approach explained by | Heather Peachey and the use of | Simulators Tony Lees.)