Peals on the Bells
A “peal” is a ringing performance which typically lasts around 3 hours. During that time the band of bellringers will ring over 5000 different sequences of the bells according to a defined pattern. It is quite a challenge for most ringers, firstly to stay standing in one place for 3 hours ringing a bell, but also because it requires continued concentration. You can’t stop half-way through to check Facebook!
The very first peal on the bells was rung on February 5th 1908.
St Andrew’s Church, Presteigne
Wednesday February 5th 1908
Composed by J.C. Groves.
This was the very first peal to be rung in the old county of Radnorshire. Since then over 50 peals have been rung on the bells. The 50th peal was rung to celebrate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becoming Britains longest-reigning monarch. This was also the last peal on the bells before rehanging.
You can hear a brief extract of this peal. This was recorded in the ringing chamber and the rumbling noise you can here is the sound of the ropes going through the ceiling.
There have been a number of notable “firsts” for the local Guild and the county:
15th September 1949
First peal of Lincolnshire Surprise Major for the Hereford Diocesan Guild and in the county.
27th December 1949
First peal of Yorkshire Surprise Major in the county.
10th August 1950
First peal of Rutland Surprise Major for the Hereford Diocesan Guild.
27th December 1952
First peal of Spliced Surprise Major for the Hereford Diocesan Guild and in the county.
A full list of the peals rung on the bells can be found on the Felstead database.