There were 179 peals rung for the guild during 2017 which is 40 fewer than 2016, and a return to the levels of around 10 years ago.

I must thank Andrew Craddock for sharing the statistics generated by PealBase, allowing me to cross-check the Guild’s records. I would also 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 remind conductors that we do require all compositions in full whether or not they have been rung for the Guild previously.

I noted last year that I can take peal fees electronically and I am please to say that some conductors have taken up this facility. Should any others be interested 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 110 tower bell peals rung for the Guild in 2017 and it is in this area where we have seen most of the decrease, with the number of handbell peals remaining relatively constant. This number is in fact the fewest tower bell peals rung for the Guild since 2004.

As you may expect from this the number of ringers taking part in tower bells peals has also dropped by 25 on 2016 and 76 down on 2013 which is the peak during my time as peal recorder.

10 ringers (4 more than last year) rang their first peal in a W&P peal during 2017 and the Guild Officers would like to extend their congratulations to Tristan Allen, Greg Painter, David Pelley, Paul Sims, Nicola Penney, Luke Brooke, June Banister, Aaron Hallett, Carol Higgins and John Williams. It was a particular personal pleasure to be asked to conduct the peal for two of these ringers. I would also like to add to this list Tim Martin who scored his first peal as Conductor.

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.

Edd Colliss returns to the top of the prolific peal ringers list with other familiar names remaining near the top. The list of prolific conductors once again remains largely unchanged with Edd Colliss also heading this list. Following the trend of previous years, the total number of conductors mirrors the total number of ringers - down 6 on 2016 to just 23. As well as encouraging new ringers to take part in peal ringing, I would ask you look around your towers and encourage anyone who may be interested in learning to conduct.

Like 2016, St Agatha, Portsmouth is comfortably the most prolific peal ringing tower, once again no other tower making double figures. There is also a significant drop in the number of towers pealed by the guild, with 15 fewer in 2017. St Agatha’s total of 40 peals during the year also included the 200th peal on the bells which were only installed in 2013.

The first peals were scored on the new ring of bells at the Channel Island’s Ringing Centre in Alderney, and new the ring of 6 replacing the original ring of 3 at Houghton. In addition, the first peals were scored following augmentation at Brighstone and outside of the Guild area at Little Bedwyn, Wiltshire.

Several peals were rung to celebrate the Platinum Wedding Anniversary of HM Queen Elizabeth II and HM Prince Phillip. This included a peal at Twyford which was the first peal on the bells since 1983.

There were a number of personal footnotes during 2017 and I congratulate Paul Young on scoring his 1300th peal, Jimmy Hodkin 900th and Toby Arkless 800th. I would also like to congratulate Ben Carey who decided to travel to the famous heavy 10 at Inveraray, Scotland to ring his 1000th peal. A number of ringers reached milestones for the Guild, Graham Nobbs 400, Christine Saunders 350 and Kath Arkless and Adam Greenley 200.

One record length was rung for the Guild during the year, 10360 Nova Delight Royal was rung at All Saints Basingstoke in September to mark the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the church.

4 peals were rung to mark the 100th Anniversary of the deaths of ringers from Guild towers killed during the First World War. Corporal Frederick Burrow MM and Corporal Herbert Hoptrough, both of Portsea, were remembered by peals at that tower in August and September. A peal was rung at St Agatha’s Portsmouth in January in memory of Lance Corporal Henry Benjamin William Whittington, a ringer at the now lost ring at Holy Trinity Gosport, and at Bishopstoke in December in memory of Battery Sergeant Major Frederick William Hutchinson, a Bishopstoke ringer.

Peals were also rung in memory of Christopher Smithies and Graham Elmes

Analysis of Tower Bell Peals
Leading RingersLeading ConductorsLeading Towers
Edward P D Colliss56
John A Dodd46
Ian J Carey42
James W G Twiney42
Kathryne R Arkless37
Toby Arkless36
3 ringers30-35
1 ringer25-29
2 ringers20-24
4 ringers15-19
5 ringers10-14
19 ringers5-9
45 ringers2-4
90 ringers1
Total Ringers175
Edward P D Colliss46
Toby Arkless21
Roy LeMarechal8
Benjamin J Carey6
Benjamin D Constant5
Ian J Carey2
Martin J E Daniels2
Mark R Eccleston2
E C Gareth Higgs2
Christine R Hill2
James W G Twiney2
12 conductors1
Total Conductors23
Portsmouth, St Agatha40
Portsmouth, Cathedral4
5 towers2
30 towers1
Total Towers43

Methods Rung
7m S4
Cambridge S3
Spliced TD (8m)3
3m P2
Plain B2
Spliced S (41m)2
7m P1
St Ethelflaeda B1
St Thomas’s B#1
Bristol S10
Cambridge S4
Yorkshire S4
Spliced (2m)3
Superlative S3
Plain B2
Uxbridge S2
Adelaide S1
Aluminium S#1
April S1
August S1
Dereham S1
Double Norwich CB1
February S1
Fluorspar S1
Great Shunner Fell D#1
Horsley D#1
January S1
Julie McDonnell S#1
June S1
Lincolnshire S1
March S1
May S1
Menin Road Ridge S*1
Moscovium S#1
Newburn S#1
Pilckem Ridge S*1
Portsmouth D1
Remember Me S#1
Shorrock S#1
Sodium S#1
Spliced S (2m)1
Spliced S (4m)1
Spliced S (7m)1
Spliced S (8m)1
Spliced S (17m)1
Spliced S (23m)1
Valerian D#1
Vyvyan S#1
Walkden S#1
Wells D#1
Yorkshire Day D#1
Zakynthos S#1
Bristol S4
Cambridge S3
Goldfinger S#1
Nova D#1
Yorkshire S1
Bristol S2
Avon D1
Cambridge S1
Hursley S*1
Spliced S (3m)1

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

Handbell Peals

The strength of handbell ringing within the Guild continues with 69 handbell peals rung for the Guild in 2017 making us the 3rd leading guild for the year. The numbers of ringers and conductors participating in a Guild handbell peal remained broadly similar to 2015 and 2016.

Ian Redway was once again the most prolific handbell ringer for the guild in a list looking very similar to 2016. In total 4 fewer ringers rang a handbell peal for the Guild and there were thre same number of conductors. Frank Morton was the most prolific conductor as he has been for the last few years.

Maureen Hanney scored her 300th peal in a handbell peal as well as her 100th peal in hand during 2017. The 100th peal was rung at Anchorsholme, Whiteparish and the regular Minor band there of Brian Woodruffe, Martin Daniels and Trish Spink rang their 50th peal as a team.

A peal of Plain Bob Major was rung in January which was the first handbell peal by a Bishopstoke Sunday service band.

Another peal of Plain Bob Major was rung in December to mark the 40th anniversary of the extent of Plain Bob Major being rung in hand. This peal included John, James and Bill Croft, 3 of the original band.

Analysis of Handbell Peals
Leading RingersLeading ConductorsVenues
Ian Redway40
Martin J E Daniels26
John A Dodd23
John S Croft21
Frank R Morton21
4 ringers15-19
0 ringers10-14
7 ringers5-9
4 ringers2-4
10 ringers1
Total Ringers30
Frank R Morton21
Brian J Woodruffe16
John S Croft10
William S Croft8
Martin J E Daniels5
Andrew G Craddock4
E C Gareth Higgs2
Benjamin J Carey1
Roy LeMarechal1
E John Wells1
Total Conductors10
Awbridge, The Clock House20
Whiteparish, Anchorsholme16
Bretton, The Vicarage7
New Alresford, Jubilee6
Chandler’s Ford, 2 Rosemoor Grove5
4 venues3
3 venues1
Total Venues12

Methods Rung
Doubles & Minor1
Plain B5
4m D2
2m TD1
3m TB1
7m D1
7m TD1
13m TD1
16m TD1
Charlwood D*1
Neasden D*1
Netherseale S1
Oxford TB1
Spliced D (5m)1
Spliced D (8m)1
Spliced TD (13m)1
Wragby D*1
Plain B24
Double Norwich CB2
Kent TB2
Oxford TB1
Spliced S (4m)1
Plain B5
Spliced P (7m)2
A’chailleach D*1
Regnum Diutissime D*1
Sgurr Na Lapaich D*1
Spliced P (4m)1
Spliced P (6m)1
Spliced P (9m)1
Westhawe D**1
Xenophon D**1

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

Edd Colliss