There were 229 peals rung for the Guild during 2015, which is again a significant increase on the previous year and the highest total since 1981. This is a magnificent achievement for the Guild and one which I very much hope we can maintain. I must thank Andrew Craddock for sharing the statistics generated by PealBase, allowing me to cross-check the Guild’s records. Finally I would like to thank all those conductors and organisers who submit details, compositions and fees within the one month deadline specified by the Guild rules. Please could I also remind conductors that we do require all compositions in full whether or not they have been rung for the Guild previously.

Tower Bell Peals

There were 156 tower bell peals rung for the Guild in 2015, 15 more than the previous year and continuing the general increase over the past few years. Like the overall total, it is the most since 1981 which itself was the end of a period of significant rise in Guild peal ringing activity following the Guild’s centenary in 1979. Also like 2014 the number of ringers ringing a tower bell peal for the Guild fell by a further 7, down to 224.

2015 was a very important year for ringing and peal ringing in particular, being the year in which we celebrated the 300th anniversary of the first known true peal, Plain Bob Triples at St Peter Mancroft, Norwich on 2 May 1715. I’m sure you won’t have failed to notice the publicity surrounding this and the Central Council’s First Peal 2015 initiative in which the aim was to achieve 300 “First Pealers” during the course of the year. The scheme was successful with 387 ringers achieving their first peal and I am happy to report that the W&P more than played its part in this success with 28 ringers scoring their first peal in a Guild peal. A peal of Plain Bobs Triples was also rung by a local band at All Saints Basingstoke on 300th anniversary itself.

The Guild Officers would like to extend their congratulations to Rosalind A Martin, Daniel R C Scott, Suzanne Hunt, Nicola J Collins, Martin A J Barnes, Michael J Martin, Graham H J Hounslow, Valerie L Harris, Barry J Wateridge, Michael J Clay, Richard J Motson, Ewan Grant-Richardson, Charlotte Dollery, Aileen Wilson, Judith Lainé, Lexi Skeldon, Amy Madden, Andrea M Falk, Julia Brunt, Rebecca Webb, Steve Lutener, Richard D Webb, Pamela E Pearson, Heather Winder, Victoria McAllister, Olivia Palmer, Darren Westmore and Roland Bristow on scoring their first peals and wish them well in their future peal ringing careers. It may seem ambitious to say that it would be fantastic if we could match this in 2016, however this it is not a reason not to try and I urge all members to think whether you or somebody else in your tower would be interested in attempting a peal.

Whilst the following list cannot be considered comprehensive it contains those who are believed to be ringing members of the Guild who also rang their first peal during 2015 but elected to ring it for another Guild, mainly the Southampton University Guild who achieved 8 “First Pealers”. I also offer my congratulations to Max J P Hammick, Katherine V Brookes, Lorna P Neal, Alice J S Gibbin, Elizabeth F Coates, Donald Hughes, Peter Dillistone, Clare M Merivale, Jonathan C Mills.

The familiar names once again appear on the prolific peal list with Kath Arkless joining their ranks this year. As in 2014 Edd. Colliss heads both the lists of prolific ringers and prolific conductors, Toby Arkless and Gareth Higgs also join the latter for 2015. As I mentioned previously the total number of ringers ringing a tower peal for the Guild and the total number of conductors decreased despite the Guild ringing 15 more tower bells peals including 28 “First Pealers” which continues the trend of previous years that more ringing is being done by fewer people.

One ringer scored their first peal as conductor during 2015 and I offer my congratulations to Angela Athawes on this achievement. It is worth noting that this peal was also rung on the 40th anniversary of her first peal being in the same method and at the same tower.

St Agatha, Portsmouth once again heads the list of the leading towers with 10 more than 2014 and representing nearly a third of the Guild’s 2015 total. With fifty peals rung for the Guild in and one further rung for another Guild it was the second leading tower in the world during 2015.

There were a large number of personal footnotes during 2015 and I congratulate Ben Constant and Adam Greenley on their 800th peals, Jim Hodkin 750th, Stuart Heath 600th, Andrew Barnsdale and Tom Hinks 500th, Steve Russ 450th, Angela Athawes 300th, and Maureen Hanney, Kath Arkless and Roger Barber on their 250th. Ben Carey and Edd Colliss also scored their 300th and 200th as Conductor. Several ringers also reached a milestone for the Guild; John Dodd 900, and Steve Russ and Kath Arkless 100.

It is usual in this report to congratulate those members in particular who reach their 1000th peal; however as the only person to achieve this milestone this year is myself I will refrain from congratulations. I will however take this opportunity to thank all members in the Guild who helped me reach this total in February 2015.

One record length was rung for the Guild during 2015, 10,800 Cambridge Surprise Minor at Awbridge in December in 4 hours 11 minutes.

Peals were rung in memory of Guild Members Jacqui Redway, Dennis Chapman, Dawn Cane, Simon Lipscombe-Smith and Ramon Stone.

Peals were also rung to mark 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta as well as the birth of Princess Charlotte and to celebrate the Queen becoming the longest reigning British Monarch.

Analysis of Tower Bell Peals
Leading RingersLeading ConductorsLeading Towers
Edward P D Colliss70
John A Dodd63
Malcolm M Powell62
James A Hodkin55
John P Colliss43
Kathryne R Arkless41
Benjamin J Carey41
4 ringers30-39
7 ringers20-29
13 ringers10-19
24 ringers5-9
43 ringers2-4
126 ringers1
Total Ringers224
Edward P D Colliss54
Benjamin J Carey18
Toby Arkless11
E C Gareth Higgs10
Benjamin D Constant6
Roy LeMarechal6
Alan G Reading5
Kieran Downer4
W Nigel G Herriott4
5 ringers3
5 ringers2
13 ringers1
Total Conductors32
Portsmouth, St Agatha50
Basingstoke, All Saints5
West Meon, Meonside5
Portsmouth Catherdral4
Portsmouth, St Mary3
Swanmore, St Barnabas3
6 towers2
44 towers1
Total Towers60

Methods Rung
Plain Bob6
Cambridge S4
7m S2
Spliced S (41m)2
Spliced TD (8m)2
2m Plain1
3m Plain1
5m S1
Spliced TD (7m)1
Spliced S (8m)1
Spliced S (14m)1
Xaintes S1
Plain Bob2
Spliced S (8m)9
Bristol S8
Spliced S (4m)5
Yorkshire S5
Cambridge S3
Lessness S3
Rutland S3
Superlative S3
Burnopfield D#2
Double Norwich CB2
Glasgow S2
Holbeach S#2
Lincolnshire S2
Winchester S2
Aldenham S1
Alloa S#1
Apple D#1
Beryllium S#1
Beverley S#1
Cat’s-Eye S1
Cooktown Orchid D#1
Cornwall S1
Dairylea Triangles S#1
Double Oxford B1
Ealing S1
Fawcett Inn D*1
Garnet D#1
Great A’Tuin D*1
Heptonstall D#1
Hope D#1
Johannesburg S1
Keeebab S*1
Knowle D#1
Littlewood Lane D#1
Malham D#1
Norfolk S1
Odyssey D#1
Osbaldwick S#1
Ozone S#1
Portsmouth D1
Raunds S#1
Ribblehead D#1
Speedball S*1
Spliced (2m)1
Spliced S (9m)1
Spliced S (13m)1
Spliced S (15m)1
Standedge D#1
Stokes Bay S*1
Swindon Borough S#1
Tollemache S#1
Kent TP1
Bristol S2
Cambridge S2
Spliced S (4m)2
Argyll S#1
Kent TB1
Lincolnshire S1
Magna Carta S#1
Pollokshields S#1
Pudsey S1
Sgurr A’Chaorachain S#1
Spliced S (7m)1
Spliced S (8m)1
Triton D1
Yorkshire S1
Barford S1
Bristol S1
Cambridge S1
Orion S#1
Yorkshire S1
Zanussi S#1

(* denotes first peal in the method, # first for the Guild)

Handbell Peals

The number of handbell peals rung for the Guild during 2015 once again continued the trend of an increase with 73 rung during the year. This is the highest total I can locate for the Guild for at least 65 years. The numbers of ringers and conductors participating in a Guild handbell peal also increased significantly with 35 and 11 compared to 22 and 6 in 2014.

Ian Redway and Frank Morton were once again the leading ringer and conductor of Guild handbell peals with similar totals to 2014. Trish Spink scored her 500th peal in a handbell peal and Martin Daniels scored his 200th in hand. Frank also scored his 2250th peal as Conductor in a handbell peal. I offer my congratulations to Gary L Davies and Jane LeConte for ringing their first peal in hand and Duncan Loweth for conducting his first handbell peal. The first peal of Spliced Surprise Maximus in hand for the Guild was rung at Bosham in July, being a peal in 5 methods conducted by Tom Hinks.

Analysis of Handbell Peals
Leading RingersLeading ConductorsMethods Rung
Ian M Redway43
Martin J E Daniels26
Maureen J Hanney26
Frank R Morton24
E C Gareth Higgs21
John S Croft20
John A Dodd19
Patricia D Spink19
Brian J Woodruffe19
5 ringers5-10
2 ringers3
4 ringers2
15 ringers1
Total Ringers35
Frank R Morton24
Brian J Woodruffe19
John S Croft14
Andrew G Craddock5
E C Gareth Higgs5
William S Croft1
Maureen J Hanney1
Thomas J Hinks1
Duncan Loweth1
Jack E Page1
Richard M Thompson1
Total Conductors11
7m Plain5
Oxford TB3
Plain B3
3m Plain2
4m Plain2
5m TB2
2m Plain1
4m TB1
6m Plain1
10m Plain1
Kent TB1
St Clement’s CB1
Plain B35
Cambridge S1
Kent TB1
St Clement’s CB1
Spliced Plain (4m)1
Spliced Plain (2m)3
Plain B2
Spliced Plain (2m)2
Spliced Surprise (5m)#1

Edd Colliss