The peal ringing activity for the Guild continued to show an overall decline in terms of numbers with 127 peals rung for the Guild in 2018, over 50 fewer than 2017 and over 100 down from the recent peak in 2015.

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.

As noted in previous years, I can take peal fees electronically and I am pleased to say that some conductors have taken up this facility. Should any others be interested I would request that conductors email me 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 91 tower bell peals rung for the Guild in 2018, which is the first time the number has dipped below 100 since 2004. 151 ringers rang a tower bell peal during 2018, which again shows a significant fall.

4 ringers rang their first peal in a W&P peal during 2018 and the Guild Officers would like to extend their congratulations to Joe Berry, Matthew Dancy, Hannah Read and Christopher Veel.

The list of prolific peal ringers and conductors remains broadly similar to previous years with the familiar names appearing. The list of prolific conductors also remains largely unchanged. The total number of conductors is down by 3 to just 20.

Like every year since the first peal following installation in 2013, St Agatha, Portsmouth is comfortably the most prolific peal ringing tower with once again no other tower making double figures. During 2018 St Agatha passed the milestone of the 250th peal on the bells, a testament to their popularity and availability that this has been achieved in less than 6 years.

There were notably fewer personal milestones during 2018 however I am able to congratulate Malcolm Powell on reaching his 1000th peal, a peal of Bristol at St Agatha Portsmouth in April. Whilst not a resident Guild member, Douglas Beaumont of Reading also achieved his 1000th peal in a Guild peal at Basingstoke in July and I extend our congratulations to him. In addition to these Kath Arkless scored her 400th peal.

Two peals were rung to celebrate the wedding in May of Prince Henry of Wales and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Two peals, at Awbridge and Bishopstoke, were rung to mark the 300th anniversary of the first peal of Grandsire Triples at St Peter Mancroft, Norwich on 26th August 1718, both peals using the original composition.

Amongst all the quarter peals, service ringing and general ringing to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War, 7 peals were rung by the Guild. 4 of these, including a peal of 7000 Bristol Surprise Royal at Portsmouth Cathedral, were rung on the 11th November itself.

Whilst not a resident member of the Guild, a peal was rung to congratulate Alan Regin on being awarded an MBE in respect of his work towards WWI commemoration projects. A peal was also rung to congratulate Mark Esbester who received an MBE for voluntary service to eye care in Africa.

Two peals were rung to mark the 70th anniversary of Geoff Dodd’s first peal. A peal of Double Norwich was rung at Amesbury, Wiltshire to replicate that peal and was followed by a peal of Bristol at Geoff’s home tower Highclere.

Peals were rung in memory of Graham Elmes including a handbell peal on the day of his funeral. A peal was also rung in memory of Keith Scudamore, formerly a resident member at Portsmouth Cathedral.

Analysis of Tower Bell Peals
Leading RingersLeading ConductorsLeading Towers
Edward P D Colliss59
John A Dodd40
James A Hodkin39
John P Colliss37
Ian J Carey34
James W G Twiney34
6 ringers16-29
6 ringers11-15
10 ringers6-10
16 ringers3-5
33 ringers2
74 ringers1
Total Ringers151
Edward P D Colliss47
Benjamin J Carey9
Roy LeMarechel9
Toby Arkless4
Benjamin D Constant3
W Nigel G Herriott2
Ian J Carey2
Alan G Reading2
Stephen A Rossiter2
11 conductors1
Total Conductors20
Portsmouth, St Agatha30
Portsmouth Cathedral6
Bitterne Park3
Basingstoke, All Saints2
30 towers1
Total Towers39

Methods Rung
Spliced TD (8m)5
Plain B2
7m TD1
Spliced P (7m)1
Spliced S (12m)1
Spliced TD (9m)1
Bristol S7
Yorkshire S6
Spliced S (8m)4
Double Norwich CB2
Spliced S (3m)2
Spliced S (6m)2
Superlative S2
Almar S1
Bouchavesnes S#1
Burnopfield S1
Cambridge S1
Cassiobury S1
Cooktown Orchid D1
Cornwall S1
Ditcheat Manor S#1
Ecuador S#1
Elston D#1
Frodsham S#1
Glasgow S1
Ickornshaw Moor D#1
Keevil S#1
Lessness S1
Lincolnshire S1
Mororlessness S#1
New Bridge D#1
Plain B1
Rebecca D*1
Rook and Gaskill S#1
Rutland S1
Spliced S (10m)1
St Ethelflaeda D*1
Swanmore D*1
Yorkshire S4
Bristol S3
Littlethorpe D#1
Woodspring S1
Bristol S2
Cambridge S1
Winchester S1
Yorkshire S1

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

Handbell Peals

With the total number being 36 there were significantly fewer handbell peals rung for the Guild in 2018, approximately half the numbers which were achieved in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Whilst this may appear worrying, an analysis of the peals rung suggests the strength is still there. A band lead by John Croft broke the record for the most spliced royal rung in hand and then proceeded to break their own record a further 3 times and I offer my congratulations to those involved.

Ian Redway was once again the leading handbell ringer for the guild in a list looking very similar to 2017. In total 5 fewer ringers rang a handbell peal for the Guild and there were the same number of conductors. Frank Morton was the most prolific conductor as he has been for the last few years.

Connor Hodkin scored his first peal in hand, as well as his first peal as Conductor during 2018 and the Guild Officers would like to extend their congratulations to him.

Ian Redway scored his 300th peal in a handbell peal and Maureen Hanney rang her 200th peal for the Guild.

Analysis of Handbell Peals
Leading RingersLeading ConductorsVenues
Ian Redway25
Maureen J Hanney14
Frank R Morton14
John S Croft13
Martin J E Daniels13
John A Dodd10
6 ringers4-6
8 ringers2-3
5 ringers1
Total Ringers25
Frank R Morton14
John S Croft5
Brian J Woodurffe5
Martin J E Daniels3
3 conductors2
3 conductors1
Total Conductors10
New Alresford, Jubilee11
Whiteparish, Anchorsholme5
Awbridge, The Clockhouse4
Chandler’s Ford, 2 Rosemoor Grove3
Dibden Purlieu, 30 Heatherstone Av3
3 venues2
4 venues1
Total Venues12

Methods Rung
Plain B1
Plain B3
4m TB1
5m TB1
5m TD1
10m TB1
Kent TB1
Plain B7
Kent TB5
Westminster S#1
Yorkshire S1
Kent TB2
Cambridge S1
Plain B1
Ruwenzori D*1
Spliced P (10m)1
Spliced P (12m)#1
Spliced P (13m)#1
Spliced P (14m)#1
Spliced P (15m)#1

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

Edd Colliss