Peal Recorder’s Report 2011

The number of peals rung in 2011 was 74, of which 40 were on handbells and 34 on tower bells. The corresponding figures for 2010 were (91,44 and 47). The marked fall in activity on tower bells arose partly but not entirely from the ending of the monthly peals at Isleworth which have been rung for many years with Harold Rogers by his friends. The number of ringers was 143 in all; 125 on tower bells (274 ropes) and 26 on handbells (213 pairs), with 8 people ringing both types.

The handbell peals were 1 of Minor, 30 Major and 9 Royal. The Minor peal was Plain Bob. The Major peals divided into 1 Double Norwich, 2 Treble Bob, 8 single Standard Eight Surprise, 3 other single Surprise, and 8 Spliced Surprise in between 3 and 24 methods. The Royal peals were 2 of Treble Bob, 6 of single Standard Eight Surprise and 1 of 3-Spliced Surprise. Roger Bailey rang in 26 of these peals and conducted 12, and Richard Pearce rang in 17, all of which he conducted. For the other 11 peals there were five conductors, and it is pleasing to notice some new names amongst them. Peter Blight, David Maynard, Caroline Ogilvie and Jill Wigney rang numbers of peals in double figures.

Tower bell peals were rung at 21 churches, of which 13 were in Middlesex, 5 in Surrey, 2 in Berkshire and 1 in Hampshire. Eight peals were at St John the Baptist, Windsor, and four at Isleworth; at most of the other towers there was just one. These peals partition to 7 on six bells, 3 of Triples, 16 of Major, 4 of Caters and 4 of Royal. On six bells there was 1 peal of mixed Cambridge Surprise and Stedman Doubles, 1 of 5 mixed Minor methods and Stedman Doubles, 3 of Cambridge Surprise and 2 of mixed Minor methods. Of Triples there were one- part peals of Grandsire and Double Grandsire, and also a peal of 6-Spliced. The Major peals were 7 of Plain Bob, 2 of Double Norwich Court Bob, 4 of single Standard Eight Surprise methods, 1 of Lessness Surprise, and 2 of Spliced Surprise. There were also 4 peals of Stedman Caters, 2 of Cambridge Surprise Royal and 2 of London No.3 Surprise Royal. Frank Blagrove and Robert Crocker conducted 4 peals each, the other 25 peals being shared between 13 other conductors. Fourteen ringers rang 5 or more peals, the largest number being 11; 24 rang 3 or 4; and 87 rang 1 or 2.

First peal congratulations are due to Richard Jones, Susan Mills and Anselm Hartley. Tony Knox rang his first peal on an inside bell, Eddie Heath and Louise Booth their first of Surprise, Ian Callander his first away from cover, and John Barrance his first of Treble Bob. Tim Forster rang his first peal of Yorkshire Surprise, Alec Gray his first of Pudsey Surprise, Helen Porter her first of Spliced Surprise Major, and Mary Gow, ringing Royal, her first of London Surprise. Richard Blagrove rang his 100th peal on the bells at St John the Baptist, Windsor, and James White his 100th peal for the Association, conducting Joseph Parker’s one part composition of Grandsire Triples at Windsor Castle. Peals were rung to mark the sixty fifth birthday of Roger Bailey, the eightieth birthday of Ruth Foreman and the ninety fifth birthday of Harold Rogers; a peal was also rung in memory of Geoffrey Dodds and Gerald Penney.

On handbells Mark Herbert rang Yorkshire Surprise Major for his first peal as a conductor in hand, and also conducted Lincolnshire Surprise Major. Robert Sworder rang his first peals of Kent Treble Bob, Oxford Treble Bob and Surprise, and Adam Crocker his first 6-Spliced on an inside bell, his first of Bristol Surprise Major (as did Sheila Dickinson) and his first of Surprise Royal. Clare Larter rang her first peal of Spliced, and Andrew Graham his first of Spliced as conductor on handbells. Peter King rang his first of 8-Spliced on a fully working pair, and Peter Blight completed the Standard Eight Surprise Major methods on an inside pair, and also rang his first of 8-Spliced on an inside pair. David Maynard rang his 100th peal on handbells. Finally Roger Bailey, in conducting the first peal of Island Gardens Surprise Major, completed his fourth Surprise Major alphabet.

Compositions are listed separately, some of the more unusual ones being the 6-Spliced Triples by Philip Saddleton and the series of Spliced Surprise by Colin Wyld.

Martin Sutcliffe