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Bi-centenary Peal Celebrations at Nettleham, 19th/20th April 2013

On the wall in Nettleham All Saints' Belfry is a historic board recording the ringing on April 19th 1813 of a full peal of 5040 changes taking 3 hours and 5 minutes. To celebrate the 200th anniversary of this achievement, it was arranged for another peal of 5040 changes to be rung on Saturday 20th April from 2pm to 5pm.

Before the peal attempt on the 20th, a local band of ringers rang a quarter peal of Plain Bob Doubles on Friday 19th April, the actual day of the Centenary. The details are as follows


Nettleham, Lincolnshire
All Saints
Friday 19th April 2013
1260 Plain Bob Doubles

1 Amy Burkitt
2 Margaret Parker (C)
3 Helen McGurk
4 Ian Douglas
5 Keith Gladman
6 Trevor Hardcastle

Rung to celebrate the bicentenary of the first peal to be rung on the bells at Nettleham, which was rung on 19th April 1813


It was decided to use the peal attempt as fundraising event in the church. This is in aid of the Nettleham Tower Fund. To support this, a great deal of activity was organised in the church. Dot and Phil Mason brought their portable mini ring and set it up by the pulpit in the church, so that visitors could have a go. Ian Douglas had brought the peal board down from the tower and set it up in the church on an easel, so people could view it, along side a clear statement of what was written on the peal board for the benefit of people who might struggle with the faded lettering and the "Olde English". The text is reproduced below.

On Easter Monday.
In the year of our Lord.
One Thoufand and Eight hundred and
Thirteen. Was rung here Five
Thoufand and Forty Changes in
different peals in Three hours and
Five minutes on the 19 of April.
by us whofe names are here written.
1st Richard Johnfon
2nd Jofeph Pearfon
3rd William Clayworth
4th Wiliam Pattinfon
5th William Vickers
6th George Grundy

The Peal Board displayed in the church

The webmaster had rigged a camera over the bells and another in the ringing room along with a microphone, so people in the church could see and hear what was taking place upstairs. Gill Gladman had produced a quiz to identify churches in the local vicinity and there was an unending supply of tea, coffee and refreshments provided by the ladies from the Church Social Committee.

Entrance to the Church
Phil Mason instructs a member of the public

Jim Sutherland had brought two bells along for a "Guess the Weight of the Bell" competition and Fiona Milnes who runs a local business Cakes by Design had donated a beautifully (and professionally) iced cake for a raffle prize. Also Gill Gladman had baked a Bi-centenary cake to be cut during the peal attempt.

People started to arrive about 1:30pm and the peal band turned up and prepared to start the peal. After some minor adjustments of the ropes, the peal was started shortly after 2:00pm, eagerly watched on the remote monitors downstairs by a large group of people.

In parallel with the peal attempt, a quarter peal was also rung on the ceramic mini ring that Dot and Phil Mason had brought along.


Nettleham, Lincolnshire
All Saints (The Mobile Woodside Campanile)
Saturday 20th April 2013
1296 Cambridge Surprise Minor

1 Dot Mason
2 Sylvia Taylor
3 Phil Mason
4 Betty Stracey
5 John Nicholson
6 Michael Stracey (C)

Rung in the church during the open day celebrating the 200th anniversary of the first peal on the tower bells.

This quarter peal can also be viewed on Campanophile


A number of vistors came into the church, both ringers and non-ringers, including a large contingent of French visiting from Nettleham's twin town, Mulsanne. Many of them had a go on the mini ring and enjoyed refreshments and the other events taking place.

At about 3:40pm the Bi-centenary cake was cut by Mrs. Gill Gladman and everyone there was presented with a piece, keeping some back of course for the peal band, who were still ringing.

The remote monitors to view the peal
The Rev Jenny Rowley attempts to identify some of her own churches

At about 4:35pm people started to gather round the monitors showing the bells and ringers, in anticipation of the end of the peal. At 16:43pm the conductor shouted "Single" followed by "That's All" and then the band stood the bells. The crowd in the church gave them a standing ovation, which despite Nettleham tower's excellent soundproofing, the ringers were still able to hear from the ringing room.


Nettleham, Lincolnshire
All Saints
Saturday 20th April 2013 in 2 hrs 38 mins
5040 Plain Bob Minor (7 different extents)

1 David M Burkitt [Nettleham]
2 Fiona M Dawson [Welton]
3 David Fox [Welton]
4 Philip H Dawson [Welton]
5 Brian W Smith [Hackthorn]
6 Christopher C P Woodcock (C) [Potterhanworth]

Rung by a Central Branch band to mark the bicentenary of the first peal to be rung on the bells at Nettleham, which was rung on 19th April 1813 by a local company and is commemorated on a peal board in the ringing chamber.

For the full text of this peal, please visit Campanophile


View down the Church
Gill Gladman cuts the cake

A tired peal band eventually appeared and were again congratulated, especially the conductor, and were plied with tea and cake.

It was difficult in advance to know quite how well the event would go, but as it turned out it went very well indeed. Even just the peal being successful would have been enough, but in fact more was acheived than just that. Bellringing as an activity was promoted to the general public and as a result Nettleham has got two new recruits and because of the fundraising, Nettleham Church Tower Fund is now £325.12 better off than it was before. I think all that pretty much speaks for itself.

A huge Thank-You must go out to those who put so much effort in. They are mentioned above and it made the afternoon an enormous success.

Well Done Nettleham and Happy Anniversary!

Jonathan Clark (webmaster)