Quarter Peal Report 2017

(2016 figures in brackets)

The data used for this report has been extracted entirely from BellBoard and includes quarters rung in the geographical boundaries of the Diocese of Ely. 

A total of 556 quarters have been recorded, which is down on last year’s total of 572 and 2015’s 583.  

This year’s number includes 51 quarters being rung by visiting groups holding quarter peal weekends or weeks in our Diocese.

The running order of the Districts remains the same with 264(253) in the Cambridge District; 144 (158) in the Huntingdon District; 131(149) in the Ely District; and 17(12) in the Wisbech District.  These figures do not represent the district ringers taking part as there is much crossing of borders.

A total of 513 (533) ringers have taken part.  Janet Garnett once again retains the top position with those running up coming nowhere near her total.  Those ringing 20+ appear in the table below:

Janet Garnett           169               David Richards         41                Oliver Bardsley         24
Vanessa Webster      98                Tom Ridgman           41                 Stephen Burr           24
Marion Robinson       88                Greg Pearce             40                 Kit Kilgour                24
Susan Binns             72                Alan Winter              40                 Mary Bone               23
Edith Robinson          63                Liz Griffith Jones       39                Roderick Johnstone   23
Geoffrey Grayton      62                Jonathan Agg           37                 Gareth Davies          22
Philip Bailey             56                Catriona Shearer      37                 Simon Wilson           22
Peter Hinton             52                Graham Lay             32                 James Miller             21
Jon Reed                  52                Ian Hamilton            30                Stephen Theobald     21
Phillip George           48                Iain Hayden             30                Marjorie Winter        21
June Mackay            44                Alastair Stracey        29                Helen Atkins             20
Sally Mew                44                Paul Seaman            27                Patrick Brooke          20
Sheila George           41               Hannah Campbell      25                Claire Nicholson        20
Naomi Laredo           41               Annemarie Adams     24                JoAnne Rutter          20
                                                                                                    Christine Seaman      20

This represent 8% of the ringers taking part, with 36% only ringing 1 quarter and 56% ringing 2-19.

It is the same three leading conductors as last year but in a different order with Edith Robinson taking over the first place with 49, Janet Garnett second with 45 and third Phillip George with 39. Conducting for the first time was Emma Davies.

Congratulations to the 27 (16) who have rung a quarter for the first time - they are:

Peter Bailey            Kyle Crozier                 Les Hylton                   Christine Tankersley
Alistair Benfold       Ptolemy Egan               Tony Probert                Kiyoshi Thompson
Tracy Boyt             James Eyers                 Martha Radbourne        Harry Williams
Kevin Brown          Jo Farmer-Eynon           Cecilia Riddall Bell         Marcus J Williams
Honey Budd           Sue Giles                     Harry Robbins              Jon Wright
Atalanta Collison     Francis Herne              Wendy Smith                Renate Zeigermann
Ronald Cron          James Hodgson             Matthew Stevens         

Hopefully this will be a major step in their ringing career and indeed 5 have already gone on to ring more quarters.

First in hand: Alistair Benfold, Iain Hayden and Oliver Winter.

61 (48) quarters were recorded as service ringing which is 11% of the total, therefore the remaining 89% must be for other events or just for fun.  We must thank all those incumbents and churchwardens who readily give us permission to ring and use the valuable equipment in their towers usually at no cost.  Not many hobbies can be carried out at no or minimal cost to the participants for the use of such equipment.

Meldreth takes the top position with Cottenham and Trumpington in 2nd and 3rd places, pushing last year’s leader St Edwards Cambridge into 5th place.

Meldreth                             36     Bluntisham                           5     Chatteris                              2     Guilden Morden                    1
Cottenham                          30     Fordham                               5     Elton                                     2     Hamerton                               1
Trumpington                       29     Gamlingay                            5     Ely                                         2     Harston                                   1
Cambridge GSM                25     Little Eversden                      5     Haslingfield                         2     Horningsea                             1
Cambridge S Edward        23     Willingham                            5     Hockwold cum Wilton      2     Kimbolton                               1
Histon                                  23     Fen Ditton                             4     Huntingdon SM                  2     Leighton Bromswold            1
Cherry Hinton                    17     Fulbourn                                4     Isleham                                2     Leverington                            1
Great Gransden                 14     Great Shelford                      4     Little Paxton                        2     Linton                                      1
Great Wilbraham               12     Huntingdon AS                     4     Longstanton                        2     March                                     1
Holywell                              11     St Ives                                    4     Molesworth                         2     Melbourn                               1
St Neots                              11     Thriplow                                4     Pampisford                          2     Methwold                               1
Little Shelford                    10     West Wratting                       4     Somersham                        2     Old Fletton                              1
Hemingford Grey                9       Wilburton                             4     Swaffham Prior                  2     Ramsey                                    1
Hilton                                    9       Bottisham                             3     Waresley                             2     Shouldham                             1
Houghton                             9       Brinkley                                 3     Balsham                              1     Spaldwick                               1
Oakington                            9       Cambridge S Andrew          3     Barrington                          1     Stanground                             1
Cambridge OLEM               8       Caxton                                   3     Barton                                 1     Stow Bardolph                        1
Over                                      8       Fincham                                3     Brington                              1     Terrington St Clement          1
Soham                                  8       Godmanchester                  3     Buckden                               1     Walpole St Andrew               1
Swaffham Bulbeck             8       Hemingford Abbots            3     Catworth                              1     Walpole St Peter                   1
Swavesey                            8       Rampton                               3     Chesterton                           1     Walsoken                                1
Duxford                               7       Sawston                                3     Conington                             1     Warboys                                  1
Cambridge S Benet           6       Toft                                         3     Denver                                  1     Watlington                              1
Fenstanton                         6       Whittlesford                         3     Ellington                                1     Wiggenhall Magdalen          1
Ickleton                               6       Brampton                             2     Elsworth                                1     Wistow                                    1
Orwell                                 6       Burwell                                  2     Eynesbury                             1     Woodston                               1
Stretham                            6       Bythorn                                 2     Great Paxton                         1       Total                                      517

Numbers on handbells have decreased significantly this year 39(51).

Cambridge 102 Mawson Road      12
Cambridge GSM Ringing Room      9
Houghton Bury                            5
Little Gransden Nutbells                5
Huntingdon 10 Knipe Close           3
Cambridge Christ's College           1
Fordham The Willows                   1
Pidley Lakeside Lodge                  1
Reach Gable Farm Cottage           1
Willingham 53 Covent Garden      1

 So, what was rung:

Singles 2
Minimus 8
Doubles 125
Minor 205
Triples 31
Major 155
Caters 4
Royal 15
Cinques 0
Maximus 8
5&6           1
7&8           1
Call changes 1

Achievements from the footnotes:

  • 50th Q David Armitstead
  • 100th Q Andrew Smith
  • 400th Q Geoffrey Reed
  • 700th Q Sheila George
  • 700th Q Vanessa Webster
  • 750th Q Geoff Grayton
  • 750th Q Tom Ridgman
  • 750th Q Vanessa Webster
  • 1000th Q Phillip George
  • 1500th Q Edith Robinson
  •  600th Q as C Phillip George
  •  50th Q together Vanessa Webster & Jackie Latham
  •  50th Q together Vanessa Webster & Edith Robinson
  •  Phillip George-quarters rung on all 366 dates of the year
  •  Philip Gorman 50th & 30th as C at Gt Wilbraham

Special occasions celebrated:

  • 50th anniversary of Phillip George’s first quarter
  • 50th anniversary of Geoff Grayton's first quarter
  • 70th anniversary of Derek Latchford's first peal
  • 30 years of ringing for Emma Jarrett
  • 48 years of service to the Ely District by Roger J Palmer
  • Wedding compliment to Megan & Oliver Bardsley
  • Wedding compliment Dan Francis & Sarah Russell
  • Ruby wedding compliment David & Sheila Prest
  • Golden Wedding compliment Steve & Denyse Jennings
  • Diamond Wedding compliment Sidney & Daphne Brown
  • Retirement compliment to David Prest
  • Farewell to Sue Binns
  • Ordination of Max Drinkwater
  • Huntingdon All Saints-1st Q following church re-ordering work
  • Gt Paxton-final Q on the bells prior to augmentation

Birthday compliments:        

  • 30th Clare George
  • 40th Peter Rogers
  • 40th Tom Griffiths
  • 60th Andrew Spencer
  • 60th Steve Setter
  • 70th Gerard Chadwick
  • 70th Monica Lilley
  • 80th Roger J Palmer
  • 96th Richard Howard
The lives of the following ringers and members were recorded:
  • Gerald Barnard (Haslingfield)
  • Alan E Ling (Harston)
  • John Gipson (Meldreth)
  • Alan Petri (Orwell) 

Only 4 date touches of 2017 changes were rung this year and a touch of 1972 to celebrate a 45th wedding anniversary.

I am sure that there are many quarters of note for ringers where milestones have been achieved (1st inside, 1st in method, etc) – too many to mention here, but congratulations go out to them all.

I have been looking back over the 18 years I have been extracting all this information, now that I am passing over to a new Quarter Peal Secretary.  The figures quoted below are from my records and may not include quarters not published, or published late, or any that I missed when physically searching the Ringing Worlds, so there may be discrepancies with tower or personal records.  I must admit that now we have BellBoard it is much easier to extract the information, but as I say below quarters not posted immediately after ringing are old news!

We average 483 quarters each year.  Obviously, there are highs and lows, a low period being 2003/4, both years being under 300, and the most we have achieved is 625 in 2011.  I cannot see any special events or lack of events such as Millenniums, HM Queen celebrations, etc. that have affected these totals.

Looking at the ringers who have taken part, it is interesting to see that a total 154 different names appear in the lists of those who rang 20+ quarters.   Some have appeared nearly every year from 2000, some not joining the list until the years in between, the latest year being 2011. Those achieving 300+ during this time are in the chart below.

Over the 18 years there have been 405 first quarter peal ringers, this averages out at 22.5 per year. But are they still ringing today? Just looking at the 5 years 2012-16 we totalled 88 first quarters, but of these only 34 of the names appear again in 2017’s lists.  Hopefully they are all still ringing somewhere, they may not be ringing quarters for a variety of reasons, but have become invaluable members of bands for practices and Sunday service ringing.

It is also interesting to see where quarters are rung.   In most towers the numbers are spread across the years with odd years where there was none.  Coming on line and with a continued use are Bluntisham (2004), Great Wilbraham (2006), Little Eversden (2007), Toft (2005). Obviously, this might be after restoration projects or influx of new ringers. Those towers reaching 100+ are listed in the chart below.

At the other end of the scale there has only been one recorded successful attempt at the following 7 towers, all from Hunts District:

Broughton,  Conington, Croxton, Diddington, Grafham,  Hail Weston, Water Newton

108 towers recorded 2-50, and 23 towers recorded 51-99.

A question comes to mind -  Do the quarter peal ringers come from flourishing bands at the towers appearing in the table above?

No apologies for finishing with the normal requests please to help the new incumbent

%  Publish as soon as possible,

%  Quarters submitted a week late are old news!

%  Keep footnotes as brief as possible

%  Christian names please and if applicable middle initial. 

Sheila J. George