Ringers who have rung 500 or more Handbell Peals

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 1938 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 1938 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 1938 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 Sometimes a peal is withdrawn because it is false but the milestone doesn't get corrected.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.

RankRingerHB Peal TotalFirst HBP500th HBP1000th HBP1500th HBP2000th HBPLast Milestone Noted
1Bernard F L Groves208727 Jul 195720 Dec 198106 Oct 199523 Aug 200605 Jul 20171500 (1500 peals)
2J David Atkinson175522 Mar 196105 Feb 198507 Dec 199903 Sep 2013 1700 (1700 peals)
3Peter C Randall166322 Aug 196724 Oct 199517 Jun 200816 Jun 2017 1000 (1000 peals)
4John R Mayne159422 Feb 194608 Jun 198302 Feb 199906 Apr 2006 1250 (1250 peals)
5David C Brown156320 Apr 197324 Nov 198830 Sep 200104 Jul 2017 1000 (1000 peals)
6Robert H Newton154430 Jul 196922 Mar 198928 Mar 2007  1000 (1000 peals)
7Robert B Smith147827 Jul 195703 Aug 197708 Oct 1993  1300 (1300 peals)
8Graham A C John138721 Mar 197430 Apr 200312 Mar 2014  700 (700 peals)
9Roger D Bailey136323 Jan 196611 Dec 198802 Dec 2004  1000 (1000 peals)
10John M Jelley131214 Aug 195520 Jul 199930 Jan 2012  800 (800 peals)
11Frank R Morton130521 Dec 196706 Jan 199924 Mar 2013  700 (700 peals)
12S Kathleen M Baldwin125512 Aug 195509 Oct 198515 Mar 2009  1000 (1000 peals)
13Roger Baldwin122802 May 195427 Mar 198609 Aug 2011  1000 (1000 peals)
14Neil D Lomas120417 Dec 196824 Mar 199202 Jun 2009  1000 (1000 peals)
15Katharine J Firman117409 May 197028 Dec 200511 Jan 2017   
16John S Croft113016 Apr 196702 Feb 199801 Aug 2016  500 (500 peals)
17Dorothea M Mayne111311 Oct 197711 Feb 199802 Mar 2004  1100 (1100 peals)
18Emma J Southerington108829 Apr 200112 Dec 201128 Jan 2018  1 (first HB peal)
19Graham G Firman105906 Dec 197023 Apr 200826 Nov 2018  500 (500 peals)
20David W Friend105617 Nov 195911 Jan 200505 Jun 2018  500 (500 peals)
21William S Croft104716 Apr 196731 Aug 200728 Jan 2018  600 (600 peals)
22Patricia M Newton97917 Sep 197718 Sep 2002   400 (400 peals)
23Michael C E Hodge93512 Aug 196727 Jan 2003   600 (600 peals)
24James S Croft91622 Dec 196910 Jun 2009   150 (150 peals)
25Rupert A Clarke89220 Feb 196105 Sep 2005   500 (500 peals)
26June D Wells86511 Nov 197211 Dec 2013   500 (500 peals)
27E John Wells85415 Jul 195512 Mar 2014   200 (200 peals)
28Jeremy W Spiller83117 Apr 198815 Dec 2009   500 (500 peals)
29Paul N Mounsey82207 Feb 196601 Jun 1994   500 (500 peals)
30Richard A Pearce79930 Aug 199229 Oct 2009   1 (first HB peal)
31N David Lane79330 Nov 194928 Jun 2000   500 (500 peals)
32Frank C Price79116 Sep 194906 Jun 1993   50 (50 peals)
33David F Moore73821 Feb 196128 Jul 1999   500 (500 peals)
34David N Young73512 Feb 198709 Apr 2006   500 (500 peals)
35Cherril C Spiller73118 Nov 198816 Nov 2011   500 (500 peals)
36David J [Sawley] Marshall71912 Mar 195206 Oct 2008   500 (500 peals)
37Philip A B Saddleton71810 Jun 198112 Jun 2002   500 (500 peals)
38David Kemp70818 May 197711 Nov 2016   400 (400 peals)
39John E Harrold70303 Mar 197113 Sep 1998   400 (400 peals)
40Alfred Ballard68317 Jun 193502 Sep 1972   600 (600 peals)
41Roland H Cook67922 Nov 197012 May 2010   500 (500 peals)
42Ian W Taylor65829 Jan 199715 Jan 2012   1 (first HB peal)
43C Kenneth Lewis65207 Aug 193819 Feb 1985   30 (30 peals)
44Brian J Woodruffe64031 May 195704 Jan 1994   500 (500 peals)
45Christopher W Woolley63716 Sep 191905 Apr 1972   600 (600 peals)
46Frederick Shallcross63131 Dec 196307 Jul 2010   500 (500 peals)
47Jennifer A Town61604 Aug 197103 Mar 2017   1 (first HB peal)
48Christopher J Sharp60930 Oct 196809 Jun 2016   200 (200 peals)
49Thomas J Hinks60606 Sep 200403 Nov 2017   500 (500 peals)
50Bernard H Taylor60616 Sep 197116 Jun 2010   500 (500 peals)
51Kenneth R Davenport60427 Feb 196701 Oct 2012   500 (500 peals)
52Michael J Trimm58706 Jun 198818 Feb 2018   1 (first HB peal)
53William H Jackson57803 Jun 195018 May 1995   100 (100 peals)
54Margaret E L Chapman56801 May 194822 Feb 2009   500 (500 peals)
55Richard J Clements55714 Mar 197604 Sep 2018   506 (506 peals)
56Daniel T Matkin55321 Apr 191908 Oct 1977   550 (550 peals)
57James W Holdsworth54129 Dec 200506 Oct 2017   500 (500 peals)
58C Paul Cheshire53627 Nov 199717 Jul 2018   200 (200 peals)
59Andrew J W Tibbetts53301 Oct 199901 Jan 2010   475 (475 peals)
60Simon C Melen52711 Nov 198402 Jul 2018   1 (first HB peal)
61Philip J Earis50113 Apr 2002    1 (first HB peal)

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