Rotherham peal band repeats feat 50 years on

The Rotherham Peal Band
The Rotherham Peal Band

Shoppers were treated to a unique bell-ringing feat as the Rotherham Minster bells chimed out a special performance.

The bells in Rotherham town centre were rung to mark the 50th anniversary of a ground-breaking performance held at the church in 1965.

Back then, 10 ringers rang a peal of ‘Spliced Surprise Royal’ containing 42 different methods – making it the most methods rung on 10 bells anywhere in the country.

Each of the ringers had to learn the complexities of remembering their places in not just one but 42 different ‘methods’ in a continuous peal of 5,040 changes that took three hours and 40 minutes.

The decision to try to repeat the 1965 feat was made by a group of Yorkshire peal ringers.

Rotherham ringer Neil Donovan was an up-and-coming ringer when he rang the treble – the first bell – in the original peal, while Wakefield ringer Adrian Moreton’s late father Wilf was the conductor.

Together with Rotherham Tower Captain Malcolm Turner, the three pulled the 2015 ringing band together.

Canon David Bliss, vicar of Rotherham, congratulated the 10 ringers on their success.

He said he was delighted Rotherham had hosted such an important milestone within the national bellringing community.

He said: “Bell ringing is a real skill that combines both physical and mental dexterity and I know that it takes hours of dedication for any ringer to reach this kind of level.

“I am proud this group of ringers decided to come to Rotherham and emulate their forefathers and as a result put the town on the ringing map once again.”