Thursday 23rd May 2024

The Bailey Brothers of Leiston

The Bailey brothers of Leiston.
The Bailey brothers of Leiston
Credit: The Suffolk Guild of Ringers History Project

Friday October 21st 2011 is the date of a quite remarkable centenary. It will be celebrated not just in Leiston and across Suffolk, but wherever ringers ply their art.

It will be 100 years since the Bailey Brothers rang their first family peal – eight siblings from a family of eleven boys. It is a safe bet to say that feat will never be repeated and the Suffolk Guild of Ringers and the Norwich Diocesan Association of Ringers rejoices in it.

The Bailey brothers of Leiston.
The Bailey Brothers, 5th August 1921
Credit: The Suffolk Guild of Ringers History Project
Bailey Brothers' Peal.

But they went on to even greater things, and almost up to the outbreak of the 2nd World War, were amongst the finest Eight Bell Bands in the country. They excelled at handbells too and created records there that will never be matched.

The September 1911 issue of the Rational Journal tells us quite a bit about some of the brothers and their achievements in their feature article, in not only campanology but in the field of sports as well.

Charles was one of the greatest conductors of all time, encouraged by another Leiston man who became famous as a composer, Gabriel Lindoff. Lindoff moved to Dublin just after the turn of the century, but never forgot his native town.

Such was the strength of the St Margarets’ Ringing Company that even without the Brothers in the years 1900 – 1939 there was a strong Sunday service and peal band.

We salute the ‘Bailey Brothers of Leiston’.

The last remaining ringer to be taught by the Brothers is Adrian Knights –– taught by Ernest, known as “Sid”.

George Pipe

Leiston, 22nd October 2011: 5024 Plain Bob Major

Leiston, 1st September 2021: 5004 Stedman Cinques The sound of the bells