There were 219 peals rung for the Guild during 2016, which is a slight fall compared to 2015; however this total is still significantly higher than any year other than 2015 since the early 1980’s. I said in my report last year that I hoped the Guild would maintain its peal ringing activity and I am pleased to say that we have achieved that. Keep it going!

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 may I also remind conductors that we do require all compositions in full whether or not they have been rung for the Guild previously. I am also pleased to announce that I can now take peal fees electronically; I would request that conductors email me FIRST for a reference and the necessary account details, even if you already have them, to allow me to monitor what I have and have not received.

Tower Bell Peals

There were 142 tower bell peals rung for the Guild in 2016, 14 fewer than the previous year but comparable to 2014. What is of greater concern is the number of ringers taking part in a tower bell peal continued the decreasing trend with a fall to 200, this is 24 fewer than 2016 and 46 fewer than 2013.

Six ringers rang their first peal in a W&P peal during 2016 and the Guild Officers would like to extend their congratulations to Will Stoddart, Martin Willson, Helen Rolf, Janice Firth, Rob Gorton and Gemma Loweth. The latter three actually achieved their first peal in a handbell peal but are included here for completeness. To add to this list Aileen Wilson also scored her first tower bell peal.

Following the ‘First Peal 2015’ initiative it is good to see that the Guild is still introducing ringers to peal ringing and I would encourage all members to think whether you or somebody else in your tower would be interested in attempting a peal. It would be brilliant if we can increase both the numbers of new peal ringers and ringers taking part in peals in general to stem the falling trend.

Malcolm Powell heads the list of prolific peal ringers for 2016 pushing last year’s leader, Edd Colliss, into second. John Dodd and Kathryne Arkless also remain near the top with Gareth Higgs, Jim Twiney and Graham Nobbs joining the list of people to ring 40 or more peals for the Guild in 2016.

The list of prolific conductors remains largely unchanged with Edd Colliss still heading the list with Toby Arkless and Ben Carey exchanging places behind. Once again, like the total number of ringers the total number of conductors is also down 3 on 2015 to 29.

St Agatha, Portsmouth heads the list of the leading towers again with a similar number to 2015 representing over a third of the Guild’s 2016 total. It is also worth noting that no other tower rang more than 9 peals, the first time this has happened for 9 years.

The first peal on the augmented ring at All Saints Basingstoke was completed with a peal of Bristol Surprise Royal in April.

There were a number of personal footnotes during 2016 and I congratulate Paul Young on his 1200th, Martin Daniels 500th, Graham Nobbs 400th, David Mattingley 300th, Colin Butler 250th and Kieran Downer 25th. Toby Arkless and Edd Colliss scored their 250th as Conductor. Several ringers also reached a milestone for the Guild; Malcolm Powell and Jim Hodkin 500, and Andrew Howes 100.

Roy LeMarechal passed two significant milestones during 2016, ringing his 2000th peal for the Guild with a peal of Cambridge Royal at Bishopstoke in February and his 3000th peal some three weeks later, also Cambridge Royal at Bishopstoke. Roy is only the 49th person to achieve this total.

Peals were rung by the Sunday service band of Vale, Guernsey, who rang a peal of 7 Doubles in January, and Bishopstoke, who rang a peal of Double Norwich in December. I would also like to mention the 7 members of the Catherington Sunday service band who scored a peal of 13 Spliced Surprise Major in January and it was my pleasure to ring the treble for you.

In February a peal of Yorkshire Surprise Maximus was rung at Hursley by a ladies band; this is believed to be the first twelve bell peal rung by a ladies band for the W&P.

Peals were rung in memory of Guild Member and former A&P district Chairman Andrew Barnsdale.

Several peals were rung to celebrate the 90th Birthday (both actual and official) of HM Queen Elizabeth II. Peals were also rung on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Jutland and as part of the Bell Ringers Strike Back Against Blood Cancer campaign.

Analysis of Tower Bell Peals
Leading RingersLeading ConductorsLeading Towers
Malcolm M Powell66
Edward P D Colliss64
John A Dodd56
Kathryne R Arkless46
E C Gareth Higgs42
Graham A Nobbs40
James W G Twiney40
3 ringers36
3 ringers30-35
2 ringers20-29
10 ringers10-19
23 ringers5-9
64 ringers2-4
88 ringers1
Total Ringers200
Edward P D Colliss42
Toby Arkless21
Benjamin J Carey17
Roy LeMarechal17
James W G Twiney6
Benjamin D Constant4
4 conductors3
3 conductors2
16 conductors1
Total Conductors29
Portsmouth, St Agatha49
Portsmouth Cathedral5
Basingstoke, All Saints4
Winchester Cathedral3
8 towers2
43 towers1
Total Towers58

Methods Rung
Kent Block*1
Doubles & Minor1
Plain Bob5
Spliced TD (8m)4
7m S4
Spliced S (8m)2
Cambridge S1
Spliced S (41m)1
Spliced S (24m)1
Spliced S (7m)1
2m P1
Bristol S9
Superlative S4
Spliced S (8m)3
Cambridge S2
Double Norwich CB2
Rutland S2
Spliced S (23m)2
Spliced S (19m)#2
Spliced S (10m)2
Baltic Wharf S#1
Basingstoke S1
Belfast S1
Berkelium S#1
Booth S#1
Deva S1
Devonshire S#1
Dodd Fell D#1
Ealing S1
Falmouth S1
Flerovium S#1
Four Score S#1
Griffin S#1
Guernsey S1
Hunters Bar S#1
Jersey S1
Jonah S#1
Kenninghall S1
Lessness S1
Lincolnshire S1
London S1
Lye D#1
Majestic S#1
Muppet Show S#1
No. 5029 Nunney Castle S#1
No Hope D#1
Norwich S#1
November S1
Once Brewed D#1
Peterstone Wentloog S#1
Plain B1
Portsmouth S1
Preston S#1
Revolver D1
Ruthenium S1
Spliced S (21m)#1
Spliced S (17m)1
Spliced S (15m)1
Spliced S (14m)1
Spliced S (13m)1
Spliced S (6m)1
Spliced S (4m)1
St Agatha S#1
Tavistock S1
Thropton S#1
Uxbridge S1
Wales S#1
Watford S1
Wedding D#1
Winchester B1
Xavier S#1
Caters & Royal1
Spliced (4m)1
Cambridge S4
Bristol S2
Henleaze S#1
Spliced S (2m)1
Yorkshire S1
Bristol S2
Yorkshire S2
Zanussi S2
Spliced (2m)#1

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

Handbell Peals

The strength of handbell ringing within the Guild continues with a slight increase on the 2015 total to 77, again a new record as far as I can ascertain. The numbers of ringers and conductors participating in a Guild handbell peal remained broadly similar to 2015, both being only one fewer in 2016.

Ian Redway and Frank Morton were once again the leading ringer and conductor of Guild handbell peals. Whilst the lists of prolific ringers and conductors look very similar to previous years one name appears much higher than before with Duncan Loweth conducting 14 handbell peals for the guild.

In August John Croft scored his 1000th peal in hand and also reached his 200th peal as conductor in a handbell peal. John Dodd rang his 1000th peal for Guild in a handbell peal in May. Martin Daniels and Trish Spink achieved their 250th and 50th peals in hand respectively.

Analysis of Handbell Peals
Leading RingersLeading ConductorsVenues
Ian Redway41
Martin J E Daniels35
John A Dodd25
Frank R Morton23
E C Gareth Higgs22
Brian J Woodruffe18
John S Croft17
Patricia D Spink17
3 ringers10-14
4 ringers5-9
9 ringers2-4
10 ringers1
Total Ringers34
Frank R Morton23
Brian J Woodruffe17
John S Croft12
Duncan Loweth12
Andrew G Craddock4
E C Gareth Higgs3
Benjamin J Carey2
Martin J E Daniels2
Thomas J Hinks1
E John Wells1
Total Conductors10
Awbridge, The Clock House20
Whiteparish, Anchorsholme17
New Alresford, Jubilee11
Guernsey, San Baronto7
New Milton, Milton Grove5
Micheldever, 37 Northbrook4
Chandler’s Ford, 2 Rosemoor Grove3
Dibden Purlieu, 30 Heatherstone Avenue2
8 venues1
Total Venues16

Methods Rung
Plain Bob1
Doubles & Minor1
Plain Bob7
7m TB2
3m TB2
2m TB2
Newdigate D*1
Spliced D (5m)1
Spliced D (3m)1
Spliced P (2m)1
Willesden D6*1
11m TB1
9m TB1
7m TD1
6m TB1
6m TD1
5m TB1
4m TB1
2m P1
Plain Bob30
Spliced P (5m)2
Kent TB1
Oxford TB1
Yorkshire S1
Spliced P (4m)3
Plain Bob2
Little Bob1
Spliced P (9m)#1
Spliced P (8m)1
Spliced P (7m)1
Spliced P (6m)1
Spliced P (2m)1
Plain Bob1

Edd Colliss