2015 was a special year for ringers everywhere, as we marked the 300th anniversary of the first recorded true peal by John Garthon’s band in Norwich on 2nd May 1715. The St Peter Mancroft Guild marked the event with a project to install a Ringing Teaching and Heritage Centre, which will transform teaching in the area and help to inform the wider public about the rich heritage of ringing – mancroftappeal300.co.uk.
First peals (…what is a peal?) – We asked ringers to celebrate this key event with as many modern ringers as possible ringing their ‘first’ during the year. Something like 160 ringers currently ring their first peal each year. We thought it would be a fitting tribute if we could increase that figure to 300 in the 300th anniversary year. Doubling the number of first pealers was an enormous challenge. But was it any more of a challenge than the challenge those Norwich ringers faced in 1715?… more (First Peal 2015).
Ringing your first peal
During a typical year around 160 ringers ring their first peal. The FirstPeal2015 challenge to the ringing community was for 300 ringers to do so during 2015, as a fitting tribute to the landmark peal in Norwich 300 years ago. In achieving this aim we asked for help from the following sources:
- Ringers who hadn’t yet rung their first peal – we suggested they think about ringing some quarter peals beforehand by way of a ‘warm up’ and to consider ringing it for one of the many anniversaries that fell in 2015 – Things to ring for…
- Tower captains, ringing masters & mentors – we asked these people to encourage any ringers who haven’t yet rung a peal but could be capable of doing so and to help them to prepare themselves (like by ringing quarter peals before the peal).
- Established peal ringers
If you want to advertise the fact that you rang your first peal in 2015, or were part of a band that helped someone else to do so, you can obtain a T-shirt with the FirstPeal2015 logo.