Tuesday 21st May 2024

Guild Peal Week 2011
Saturday 19th - Sunday 27th February

It seems that cut-backs have also reached the Suffolk Guild Peal Week. An event that has been growing steadily since its reintroduction in 2007, reaching a peak of sixteen peals last year and the year before was reduced to just eight this year as the authorities seek to get to grips with extravagant peal-ringing across the county.

This new period of austerity still saw some happy highlights though, with two of the younger generation calling their first peal. First of all, well done to the notorious Robert/Richard/Reginald Beavis on conducting his first peal in the success at Henley. But although it won’t go down well with RCB, even more well done to Alex Tatlow who impressively not only chose Grandsire Triples for his first as conductor at Palgrave but swiftly followed this up later in the week by calling his own composition for his first of conducting Major in the Plain Bob at The Folly.

I’m sure Derek Rose won’t mind me saying he’s not quite in the same age bracket as Messrs Beavis and Tatlow, but his first peal was another highlight and big achievement of nine days of attempts lost (of which there were several) and landmarks achieved.

Now a treat for all you statos, or bellringers as they are called.

Despite the lower than hoped for success, there were still thirty-six members who scored a peal (and goodness knows how many others that didn’t) and six different conductors, with Jonathan Stevens and Brian Whiting leading on the former with four each and Jonathan again and Alex Tatlow leading the latter with two each. All four districts were represented by ringers and towers.

But with my reign of terror over Suffolk ringers ending at the end of April, this will be the last SGPW - at least organised by me - so there are more stats! I know how to treat you!

Over the five SGPW’s since they were brought back to life in 2007, 58 peals have been scored (1.2 per day) in 33 towers, involving 115 ringers and 22 conductors. Brian Whiting leads the way with 19 peals, closely followed by Mary Dunbavin on 17 and Jonathan Stevens on 16. Stephen Pettman called the most peals with 12, followed by David Salter and Jonathan Stevens on 6 each. And that’s just what was scored!

There have been a total of 107 firsts, including 14 first-pealers and 6 first conductors so ultimately, whilst I’m disappointed with this years final fling, I feel the Suffolk Guild Peal Week has achieved all it set out to do and to a much greater extent than I had ever imagined it would! This is primarily due to people who have put themselves out ringing, conducting, organizing, opening and making their towers and bells available, sometimes at short notice! Thank you to each and every one of you.

Richard Munnings

Saturday 19th

Wilby - 5120 Spliced Surprise Major

Sunday 20th

Pettistree - 5040 Minor 5 methods

Monday 21st

Palgrave - 5040 Grandsire Triples

Metfield - 5040 Seven Treble-Dodging Minor Methods

Wednesday 23rd

Great Barton - Minor 2m - 10:30am

Thursday 24th

Henley - 5040 Plain Bob Major

Friday 25th

Claydon, The Folly - 5040 Plain Bob Major

Saturday 26th

Ixworth - Morning

Theberton - 5040 Minor, Three Methods

Sunday 27th

Kersey - 5040 Plain Bob Major


As traditional in Suffolk now as detox, weight loss and the returning of unwanted presents, the Suffolk Guild Peal Week will be coming soon after Christmas.

This has far exceeded my expectations since I reintroduced this entertaining event to the Guild calender in 2007, but 2011 will be my last one and I'd love to reach twenty peals to smash the previous record of sixteen set in 2009 and 2010.

However, as thirteen first pealers, the four who have called their first peals and the numerous other members who have got something from the previous four Peal Weeks can testify, it's not just about number crunching, it's about giving ringers peal-ringing opportunities they might not otherwise have got.

Peal Week 2011 is going to be slightly later than it's predecessors due to Easter and therefore half-term being later, so it is important to note the dates of Saturday 19th February to Sunday 27th February.

As with previous years, you can either organise your own peal and gather your own band or you can contact me for ringers or if you don't feel you can organise your own peal but would like to do something then let me sort it for you!

As usual, it would be marvellous if as many ringers can help out so that the few don't end up ringing the majority of peals, but it's suffice to say I have been grateful for members response in the past.

So get thinking and get in touch!

Richard Munnings