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.
- 1 Prolific Peal Ringers
- 2 Gregarious Peal Ringers
- 3 Fast Learners
- 4 Progression of Later Learners
- 5 Young Peal Ringers
- 6 Young Quarter Peal Ringers
- 7 Older Peal Ringers
- 8 Firsts as Conductor
- 9 Feats of Learning and Method Complexity
- 10 Higher Numbers First Peals
- 11 Longest Peals
- 12 Fastest Peals
- 13 Most Peals in a day
- 14 Heavy Bell Ringers
- 15 Double-handed Towerbell Ringing
- 16 Emulating Ringers of the Past
- 17 Most Bells Rung to Changes
- 18 Handbell Peals
- 19 Tapping Peals
- 20 Singing Ringing
- 21 Walking to Ring a Peal
Prolific Peal Ringers
Colin M Turner became the first person to ring 5000 peals 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 has rung over 200 peals a year since 1991, the most being 303 (recorded in the Guinness Book of Records). He has rung over 2,000 different methods, including the Surprise alphabet on 6, 8, 10 & 12 at least twice at each stage.
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 to ring a 1000 on 14 Feb 1991 when he conducted Shelford Delight Minor at Shelford at the age of 23yrs 8months.
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.
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 
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 . 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 
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. I fully support the approach explained by | Heather Peachey and the use of | Simulators Tony Lees.)
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 . 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  on handbells (1-2) on Monday, 31 May 2010 at the age of 7 years 105 days.
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 Hull rang his first peal at the age of 8 trebling to Plain Bob Minor at Strensall, North Yorkshire on 7 May 2011.
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.
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 , 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.
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 .
William M Regan at the age of 11 rang his first peal trebling to Grandsire Triples on Monday 30th May 2011 at Hanbury, Worcs. 
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 .
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 . 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 
Fraser J Murray, aged 11, rang inside to Cambridge S Minor for his first peal on Sunday, 28 June 2009 at Halifax . On Saturday July 4 he rang his second peal, again inside, to 3 minor methods at Saltaire 
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.
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.
Young Quarter Peal Ringers
Henry Pipe, aged just 6, rang his first quarter peal on Tuesday 26 January 2010 Plain Bob Minor in hand
Ewan 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.
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.
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
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 
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
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
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 
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 
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 .
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. 
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) 
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 . 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 
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.
|13 February 1937||Albert M Tyler||Tewkesbury, Glos||Stedman Cinques||Age 13|
|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 Bob Maximus|
|31 Dec 1994||Joanna L Woolley||Towcester||Little Bob 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|
|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|
|11 Jan 2003||David W Kipling||Llandaff Cathedral||Stedman Cinques|
|5 Jun 2005||Simon A Bond||Preston Minster||Plain Bob Maximus|
|5 Jun 2005||Robert V Criddle||Preston Minster||Plain Bob Maximus|
|14 Oct 2006||Siân E Kipling||Llandaff Cathedral||Stedman 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|
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 .
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.
The fastest tower bell peal is believed to be that rung by St Martin's Guild, Birmingham at Hadstock, Essex, S Botolph Sat Dec 14 1991 1h13 (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
The above 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 handbell peal is that rung by the Iceni Society in Cambridge on Thursday, 4 May 2006 in 0h59m (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.
Heavy Bell Ringers
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 
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).
Double-handed Towerbell Ringing
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. . 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 
Peter L R Hayward became the first person to ring two non-adjacent bells to a peal when he rang the treble and fourth to a peal of Plain Bob Minor at Ossington, Notts on 24 Jul 1980. He has since rung peals of minor on every possible combination of pairs of bells (adjacent and non-adjacent).
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. .
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 eight attempt. Ref: Bill Butler's blog
Most Bells Rung to Changes
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
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 
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 C Melen (ref "four in hand" Page 1100,1156 RW 1991). Possibly the only other occasions that such a feat was accomplished 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).
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.
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".