Rotherham Minster Spliced Peal
2nd February 2015
Rotherham Town Centre reverberated to a unique bell ringing feat on Saturday (January 24) afternoon!
As shoppers went about their business they were unaware that the bells being rung above their heads at the Rotherham Minster
were doing so to mark the 50th anniversary of a special groundbreaking performance at the very same church in January, 1965.
Back then on January 23, ten ringers rang a peal of Spliced Surprise Royal containing 42 different methods - making it the most methods rung on ten bells anywhere in the country. In bell ringing terms this was, and remains so even 50 years later, a significant achievement as each of the ringers has to learn the complexities of remembering their places in not just one but 42 different 'methods' in a continuous peal of 5040 changes that took three hours and 40 minutes.
The decision to try to repeat the feat was made by a group of well-known reputable Yorkshire peal ringers.
Rotherham ringer Neil Donovan was an up and coming 18-year 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 last year and over many months rang several consecutive peals in which the number of methods was gradually increased until the 42 were finally achieved on the first attempt in three hours and 37 minutes.
With Adrian Moreton taking on his father's role of conductor, the ringers - Ian Lloyd (Harthill) Dinah Donovan (Beverley) Chris Bostock (Leeds) Neil Donovan (Beverley) Chris Bennett (Sheffield) Simon Reading (Sheffield) Tim Palmer (Sheffield) Anthony Cotton (Derby) Malcolm Turner (Rotherham) - successfully negotiated the complexities of linking 42 different methods together in one non-stop session of ringing.
The Vicar of Rotherham, Canon David Bliss, congratulated the ten ringers on their success and said he was delighted that Rotherham had hosted such an important milestone within the national bellringing community.
He added: "The Minster has a marvellous ring of 12 bells, which are rung on a regular basis and so it is so nice to see history being repeated in this way. Bell ringing is a real skill that combines both physical and mental dexterity and I know it takes hours of dedication for any ringer to reach this kind of level. I am very proud that 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."