This page was suggested by Bernard H Taylor who provided the initial data. This is his introduction:One thousand peals has long been a benchmark for prolificacy amongst peal ringers, and many people have achieved this on tower-bells only. One thousand peals on handbells is an achievement of quite a different order, not just because handbell ringing is more technically difficult, but because it is rare for handbell bands to achieve any sort of longevity in one location. That only 21 people have done this suggests that it is not easy. Hence any representative list of leading handbell ringers had to set a benchmark numerically lower and 500 seemed an obvious choice. The list, perhaps surprisingly, contains around 60 ringers and looks likely to stay that way for a year or two.
I would like to thank all those who have sent me details to help compile this list. Whilst I believe this list to be complete there maybe a few names missing. Any information on leading handbell ringers of earlier eras, such as Alf Pulling and Marcia Marshallsay, will be most welcome. Any error corrections or new information should be sent to both Pealbase and myself
Handbell peal totals in the table below are calculated in one of three ways.
If a ringer's first peal was rung on or after 1 Jan 1939 then the total is calculated by counting the number of handbell peals in PealBase for that ringer.
If a ringer's first peal was rung before 1 Jan 1939 then the total is calculated by finding the most recent handbell peal milestone (such as 300th handbell peal: 1-2) and adding the number of handbell peals on PealBase since that milestone.
Where there are no handbell peal milestones and the ringer's first peal was rung before 1 Jan 1939 then the total is obtained from Bernard's initial data.
Milestones aren't always accurate. Sometimes a peal is withdrawn because it is false but the milestone doesn't get corrected. If your own personal peal totals don't tally please check individual peal totals on PealBase (i.e. click on the ringer's name). A ringer whose name is in italics is believed to be deceased. Dates in italics are approximate and may not even be the correct month.
The Last Milestone Noted column indicates the peal date and the number of handbell peals claimed in the last published milestone.
Note that you will need to be registered with PealBase to drill down further into the data.
|Rank||Ringer||HB Peal Total||First HBP||500th HBP||1000th HBP||1500th HBP||2000th HBP||Last Milestone Noted|
|1||Bernard F L Groves||2066||27 Jul 1957||20 Dec 1981||06 Oct 1995||23 Aug 2006||05 Jul 2017||1500 (1500 peals)|
|2||J David Atkinson||1733||22 Mar 1961||05 Feb 1985||07 Dec 1999||03 Sep 2013||1700 (1700 peals)|
|3||Peter C Randall||1623||22 Aug 1967||24 Oct 1995||17 Jun 2008||16 Jun 2017||1000 (1000 peals)|
|4||John R Mayne||1594||22 Feb 1946||08 Jun 1983||02 Feb 1999||06 Apr 2006||1250 (1250 peals)|
|5||David C Brown||1544||20 Apr 1973||24 Nov 1988||30 Sep 2001||04 Jul 2017||1000 (1000 peals)|
|6||Robert H Newton||1518||30 Jul 1969||22 Mar 1989||28 Mar 2007||1000 (1000 peals)|
|7||Robert B Smith||1478||27 Jul 1957||03 Aug 1977||08 Oct 1993||1300 (1300 peals)|
|8||Roger D Bailey||1363||23 Jan 1966||11 Dec 1988||02 Dec 2004||1000 (1000 peals)|
|9||Graham A C John||1341||21 Mar 1974||30 Apr 2003||12 Mar 2014||700 (700 peals)|
|10||John M Jelley||1312||14 Aug 1955||20 Jul 1999||30 Jan 2012||800 (800 peals)|
|11||Frank R Morton||1283||21 Dec 1967||06 Jan 1999||24 Mar 2013||700 (700 peals)|
|12||S Kathleen M Baldwin||1254||12 Aug 1955||09 Oct 1985||15 Mar 2009||1000 (1000 peals)|
|13||Roger Baldwin||1227||02 May 1954||27 Mar 1986||09 Aug 2011||1000 (1000 peals)|
|14||Neil D Lomas||1196||17 Dec 1968||24 Mar 1992||02 Jun 2009||1000 (1000 peals)|
|15||Katharine J Firman||1144||09 May 1970||28 Dec 2005||11 Jan 2017|
|16||Dorothea M Mayne||1113||11 Oct 1977||11 Feb 1998||02 Mar 2004||1100 (1100 peals)|
|17||John S Croft||1098||16 Apr 1967||02 Feb 1998||01 Aug 2016||500 (500 peals)|
|18||Emma J Southerington||1070||29 Apr 2001||12 Dec 2011||28 Jan 2018||1 (first HB peal)|
|19||William S Croft||1038||16 Apr 1967||31 Aug 2007||28 Jan 2018||600 (600 peals)|
|20||David W Friend||1034||17 Nov 1959||11 Jan 2005||05 Jun 2018||500 (500 peals)|
|21||Graham G Firman||1031||06 Dec 1970||23 Apr 2008||26 Nov 2018||500 (500 peals)|
|22||Patricia M Newton||955||17 Sep 1977||18 Sep 2002||400 (400 peals)|
|23||Michael C E Hodge||921||12 Aug 1967||27 Jan 2003||600 (600 peals)|
|24||Rupert A Clarke||889||20 Feb 1961||05 Sep 2005||500 (500 peals)|
|25||James S Croft||878||22 Dec 1969||10 Jun 2009||150 (150 peals)|
|26||June D Wells||832||11 Nov 1972||11 Dec 2013||500 (500 peals)|
|27||Jeremy W Spiller||824||17 Apr 1988||15 Dec 2009||500 (500 peals)|
|28||E John Wells||821||15 Jul 1955||12 Mar 2014||200 (200 peals)|
|29||Paul N Mounsey||811||07 Feb 1966||01 Jun 1994||500 (500 peals)|
|30||N David Lane||793||30 Nov 1949||28 Jun 2000||500 (500 peals)|
|31||Frank C Price||791||16 Sep 1949||06 Jun 1993||50 (50 peals)|
|32||Richard A Pearce||784||30 Aug 1992||29 Oct 2009||1 (first HB peal)|
|33||David F Moore||728||21 Feb 1961||28 Jul 1999||500 (500 peals)|
|34||David N Young||727||12 Feb 1987||09 Apr 2006||500 (500 peals)|
|35||Cherril C Spiller||726||18 Nov 1988||16 Nov 2011||500 (500 peals)|
|36||David J [Sawley] Marshall||717||12 Mar 1952||06 Oct 2008||500 (500 peals)|
|37||Philip A B Saddleton||715||10 Jun 1981||12 Jun 2002||500 (500 peals)|
|38||John E Harrold||694||03 Mar 1971||13 Sep 1998||400 (400 peals)|
|39||Alfred Ballard||683||17 Jun 1935||02 Sep 1972||600 (600 peals)|
|40||David Kemp||680||18 May 1977||11 Nov 2016||400 (400 peals)|
|41||Roland H Cook||678||22 Nov 1970||12 May 2010||500 (500 peals)|
|42||Ian W Taylor||658||29 Jan 1997||15 Jan 2012||1 (first HB peal)|
|43||C Kenneth Lewis||652||07 Aug 1938||19 Feb 1985||30 (30 peals)|
|44||Christopher W Woolley||637||16 Sep 1919||05 Apr 1972||600 (600 peals)|
|45||Brian J Woodruffe||635||31 May 1957||04 Jan 1994||500 (500 peals)|
|46||Frederick Shallcross||620||31 Dec 1963||07 Jul 2010||500 (500 peals)|
|47||Bernard H Taylor||606||16 Sep 1971||16 Jun 2010||500 (500 peals)|
|48||Kenneth R Davenport||600||27 Feb 1967||01 Oct 2012||500 (500 peals)|
|49||Jennifer A Town||595||04 Aug 1971||03 Mar 2017||1 (first HB peal)|
|50||Christopher J Sharp||594||30 Oct 1968||09 Jun 2016||200 (200 peals)|
|51||William H Jackson||578||03 Jun 1950||18 May 1995||100 (100 peals)|
|52||Michael J Trimm||572||06 Jun 1988||18 Feb 2018||1 (first HB peal)|
|53||Thomas J Hinks||571||06 Sep 2004||03 Nov 2017||500 (500 peals)|
|54||Margaret E L Chapman||568||01 May 1948||22 Feb 2009||500 (500 peals)|
|55||Daniel T Matkin||553||21 Apr 1919||08 Oct 1977||550 (550 peals)|
|56||James W Holdsworth||537||29 Dec 2005||06 Oct 2017||500 (500 peals)|
|57||Andrew J W Tibbetts||533||01 Oct 1999||01 Jan 2010||475 (475 peals)|
|58||Richard J Clements||529||14 Mar 1976||04 Sep 2018||506 (506 peals)|
|59||C Paul Cheshire||526||27 Nov 1997||17 Jul 2018||200 (200 peals)|
|60||Simon C Melen||521||11 Nov 1984||02 Jul 2018||1 (first HB peal)|
What PealBase users have said ...
The database is amazing. As one who never was disciplined enough to keep peal records, this is really a God send. - Robert J Everest
Did you know that your peals can be imported into WinRK from PealBase? This can save you hours and hours of keyboarding. Alternatively, I can send you a PDF of your peals. Look at a sample peals PDF. Price depends on the number of peals imported and starts from only £2. Get further details and an on-line quotation.
Pricing is ten pence per peal, subject to a minimum charge of two pounds. Remember that if you request an update of your peal information you don't pay for any peal data already sent to you (subject to the prevailing minimum charge).