Peal Secretary's Report 2014

Comparing the peal totals over the past two years, there was a slight increase from 2013, the number of peals rose from 101 to 105. Of those 105 peals, 77 were on tower bells and 28 in hand. This is a decrease for the former and an increase for the latter.

These totals are the lowest since 2000; however, the number of ringers contributing to the peal totals was 160, which is the highest since 1998. Interestingly enough this gives the lowest peal to ringer ratio since 2000. This reinforces the fact that, as an Association, we are still active in this aspect of ringing but not to the extent of the more prolific peal ringers in the past. To highlight this further, the leading peal ringer (with 29) is the lowest since 1982. The suggestion here is that peal ringers are becoming more discerning and choosing to ring more complex methods, quality over quantity perhaps. With this in mind it is fascinating to see ringers ringing their first peal (or conducting their first) in Surprise methods rather than the more traditional Plain methods and the number of ringers taking part in multi spliced Surprise Major which are becoming the norm.

To emphasise the comments made above, no fewer than 9 ringers rang Norman Smith’s 23 Spliced S Major for the first time; Stephen Burr, Sue Binns, Henry Pipe (aged 10), Liz Griffith Jones, Mary Bone, June Mackay, Stephen Wood, Peter Hinton and Imogen Brooke. Liz Orme conducted the same for the first time. Clearly, peal ringing is becoming a more cerebral exercise.

The three leading peal ringers were Paul Seaman with 29, Jane Hough (28) who was the leading tower bell ringer and Mike Purday (27) was the leading handbell peal ringer. The leading conductors switched places again in 2014; Derek Sibson (23) and Mike Purday (22) were the only ones in double figures.

Peals were rung at 30 towers during this year, and the leading tower was again Meldreth with 31. It will be interesting to see how the proposed new work on the installation of a new frame will affect the output during 2015. Handbell peals were rung at 5 locations, and 102 Mawson Road, Cambridge (15) and The Old Post Office at Godmanchester (10) the most prolific.

The breakdown of the peals is:

 
Tower
Hand
Total
Minimus
1
 
1
Doubles
1
 
1
Minor
19
2
21
Triples
3
 
3
Major
53
19
72
Royal
 
6
6
Maximus  
1
1
 
77
28
105

The first peal on the 4 bells at Orton Waterville in Peterborough was recorded, (4 minimus) conducted by Sue Marsden.

The Association also welcomes 4 new peal ringers and one new conductor:

  • Dorothy Brooke, at just 13, rang Cambridge S Major at Trumpington
  • Peter Arch, 2 Minor methods at Huntingdon, All Saints
  • Greg Pearce, Cambridge S Major at Trumpington
  • Diana Mackley, 3 Minor methods at Wadenhoe
  • Stephen Burr conducted his first peal, 4 Spliced S Major at Trumpington

Several peals are worth highlighting. At the end of the year two families (Sibson and Smith) met at Sibson in Leicestershire to ring a peal together, which in itself is not unusual; however, all 6 ringers were 1000 pealers and included both parents and one child. Also, a handbell peal at Houghton Bury called by Phil George allowed Sally Mew and Sheila George to ring their first handbell peal. Paul Seaman rang his 1000th peal at Great Shelford (on the same day as his 1000th quarter peal at Little Shelford and 1000th tower visited, Little Eversden).

Personal milestones:

  • 25th peal                               Geoff Grayton
  • 50th handbell peal                  Phillip George
  • 75th as conductor                   Andrew Downs
  • 100th peal                              Alistair Donaldson (NRLM)
  • 100th handbell peal                 Brian Meads (NRLM)
  • 250th handbell peal                 Mike Purday and David Kemp (NRLM)
  • 400th peal                              Mary Hall
  • 500th for Association              Graham Hall
  • 500th tower bell peal              Mike Purday
  • 600th peal                             Ian Davies
  • 700th peal                             Graham Hall and Alan Winter
  • 700th handbell peal                Emma Southerington (NRLM)
  • 1000th peal                           Paul Seaman
  • 3000th peal                           John Jelley (NRLM)         

I wish all members of the Association enjoyment in pursuit of their peal ringing ambitions for the future.

Paul Seaman

Hand bell Peals which have been rung during the year:

  • Aldenham, Aldenham School                                                    1  (1)
  • Cambridge, 102 Mawson Road                                                  81 (15)
  • Godmanchester, The Old Post Office                                         19 (10)
  • Hitchin, 2 Orchard Road                                                           1  (1)
  • Houghton, Houghton Bury                                                        1  (1)

Peals rung outside of the Diocese during the year:

  • Darlington, St Cuthbert                                                            2  (1)
  • Sibson, St Botolph                                                                   1  (1)
  • Wadenhoe, St Michael and All Angels                                            6   (1)