The peal band in order, clockwise from front right
Well done Gareth!
It was a long time in the making... when the FirstPeal2015 initiative was launched we thought it would be a good idea to persuade Gareth to ring one. This was early in 2015. Gareth initially said "yes, sure, no problem, of course..." but as the date got nearer we began to hear phrases such as "I don't want to ring" and "No, I'm not doing it"!
In the preceeding months the band practised Plain Bob Major for Gareth thereby giving him more confidence. We practised the singles too and Gareth pulled a funny face each time one was called - but he rang them nevertheless.
On the day of the peal Gareth arrived at St Mark's looking cool in his sunglasses and quite calm. A quick word with the conductor beforehand checking on what to do after making 3rds at a single (which he knew) and away we went. It was a warm evening in the tower so the fans were working hard to blow some air around. The peal had very few incidents and only required a quick word from the conductor after about 2 hours to remain focused on the line and rhythm.
Afterwards Gareth was delighted and showed us his blister. To only get one in your first peal is really impressive - Gareth, you must be a natural! In the pub later he was heard to say "Yes, I'll do it again" so we might have another 'convert'...
"As some of you probably think, I'm not the most enthusiastic ringer! But I approached David to ask him if I could ring a peal. Of course he nearly fainted with shock but it was organised fairly quickly and at that point I was feeling very positive about it! But when I discovered about singles, I began to try to put it off.. Of course that didn't work! So I began to work on the singles at practice nights. It went wrong everytime I rang it so the feeling was dread on the day. Once we started to ring it turned out to be a lot more relaxing than I thought."
"The clock was the biggest distraction as every 20 minutes it seemed to just stop. In fact I'm sure that it stopped for half an hour at twenty to eight."
"Time went on, and it came to an end. I imagine that other people's first words when you finish would probably be "I did it!" But mine was "Ow" and I sat down as I couldnt feel my feet!"
"My first peal felt very special as I was surrounded by people who have contributed the most in helping me to learn to ring. I also wanted to say thank you to everyone else who has helped me in getting to this point in ringing. I am really proud of getting my first peal at the first attempt and hope that this will not be my last."