Peal Secretary 2011

Peal Secretary’s Report for 2011

The Association recorded 118 peals for the year. This is a slight increase on 2010 (111). The active peal ringers representing the Association’s activities continue to strive for consistency and this is reinforced by the same dedicated names topping the peal totals. John Gipson once again has the highest number of peals, 48; followed by Jane Hough, 47, (3rd last year) and Graham Hall with 42. The three leading conductors from 2010 appear in the top 3 again, Derek Sibson and Richard Castledine, both with 26, and Mike Purday close behind on 23.

The breakdown of peals shows 94 on Church bells and 22 in hand. The remaining two were on mini rings. The number of handbell peals has increased significantly, due primarily to the enthusiasm of a few local exponents, reinforced by some more experienced NRLM’s. Peals in hand have included Bristol Major, London Major, 8 spliced S Major, Stedman Caters, Cambridge Royal and Maximus. A peal of Oxford TB Major was rung on the 200th anniversary of the very first handbell peal (which was also Oxford TB Major, rung in Sheffield).

Meldreth was, once again, the most productive of all peals rung with an astonishing 51 recorded for the Association. A peal of Bristol on the 28th October was John Gipson’s 3000th peal conducted by John’s lifelong friend, Derek Sibson. A few weeks later, Derek, who maintains his strong tie with the Association, became the leading peal conductor of all time for the exercise.

Some of the footnotes reflect the life and times of our ringers together with the opportunity to mark momentous and historic occasions. Peals were rung to mark the passing of Albert Davey, Bill Ridgman, Harry Winter (ex CUG) and Mike Ellis; all of whom have played significant and important roles in our Association and it is fitting that these tributes are made and that they are remembered accordingly. Peals were also rung for the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, who were bestowed the title of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, giving our Association something of a Royal connection. HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh’s 90th birthday was also marked. Closer to home, Phil and Jennie Earis’ wedding in October was also given a dedication.

One highlight in the peal columns was the first peal rung at Swaffham Bulbeck. It had been highly anticipated for some time, and met with a mixture of delight and relief. The footnote is highly apposite and recognizes many of the people behind the scenes who have worked tirelessly to see the bells installed, maintained and rung regularly with a band built from humble beginnings. Martin Kitson’s first peal for 25 years ably conducting three first pealers; Liz Thompson, Gerard Chadwick and Geoff Reed, through a peal of Plain Bob Triples; together with Brian Pratt, Derek Latchford and Carol Kitson; all of whom have not rung a peal for many years. Lesley Boyle should also be cited, as she has been pivotal in progressing the band to this feat A highly creditable performance and all are to be heartily congratulated.

Another significant achievement was the first peal at Little Eversden, again with a local band and enabled Chris Surridge to record his first peal. A fitting tribute to the dedication of all involved.

We are also able to record two other first pealers, Sally Mew and Roger Beaman, and a first as Conductor for Richard C Smith. I hope that their names continue to grace the peal records in the future. Well done to everyone, no matter how large or small a part they play, to represent our Association in this way.

At the end of the report I attach a composition from Phillip George for spliced Plain and Little Bob Royal, with some interesting little bell music and tittums courses, which is a refreshing alternative to the traditional fixed back bell positions.

Methods rung for the first time:

Cotwardine S Major b -38-14-12-1238-14- le12. (rung at Meldreth and conducted by D E Sibson)

Elgood’s Warrior S Royal f -30-14-56-16-34-1250-12-50-14-50 (rung at Wisbech and conducted by P J Waterfield)

Personal milestones:

    • 3000th peal John G Gipson
    • 2700th peal John M Jelley (NRLM)
    • 700th peal Susan E Marsden
    • 500th peal Michael G Purday
    • 500th peal for Association Paul S Seaman
    • 200th peal for Association Philip D Bailey

Paul Seaman


The composition of 5136 Plain and Little Bob Royal by Phillip S George, rung at St Neots on 31 December 2011, conducted by the Composer, is here.