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The first recorded peal was rung on 2nd May 1903, shortly after the bells were augmented to 8. The first peal by an entirely local band was on 5th February 1910, and the first peal of Surprise Major by an all local band was on 1st February 1986. To date (summer 2019) a total of 93 peals have been rung at All Saints – see our page in the Felstead peal record .
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Two peals marked the induction of new Rectors: Bertram Long in 1904, and David Hodgson in 1997, and two marked ordinations to the priesthood: Catherine Dyer (associate priest at All Saints) and Theresa Scott (former All Saints ringer) in 1994, and Colin James (curate at All Saints) in 1997.
Four peals were in memory of Rev. FE Robinson:. The first was a half muffled peal on the day of his funeral in 1910 , and is recoreded on a pealboard in the tower. Another was in Sept 1982. Two were on anniversaries of his death,: on the 80th anniversary in February 1990 and on the centenary in 2010.
Two more peals were planned in memory of Rev FE Robinson, but in both cases the attempt failed, and a quarter peal was rung instead. They were on 9 August 2005 (to mark the centenary of what he believed to be his 1000th peal) and on 20th February 2010 (to mark the centenary of his burial, on 19th). Four of these performances are recorded on a combined pealboard in the tower.
The Peal book also records a fully muffled quarter peal for King George V in 1936.
Peals have marked 5 weddings (including Prince Andrew in 1986) and 3 wedding anniversaries. Peals have celebrated 2 births (including Prince William in 1982) and marked 4 birthdays, including the Rector's birthday in 1907, 1910 and 1921, as recorded on three pealboards in the tower.
Four peals were rung at All Saints tide: in 1910, 1913, 1935, 1990 and 2005. The 1913 peal was the first at All Saints church in which a woman rang. (In contrast women now ring in almost every peal).
The peal in November1990 marked the Church's 800th anniversary. We wanted to ring a peal of Wokingham Surprise Major, with a resident band . At the time there was no such method (though a few years earlier the name had been one of many names used as part of a controversial multi-method peal that was subsequently disallowed, thus freeing our name again.) The 2005 peal was the first on the bells following the restoration in 2004. Both of these peals are recorded on pealboards in the tower
Nigel Herriott searched diligently among un-named methods to find a good one - reasonably musical, within the band's capability, and not too false (so the composition would be easier). The band practised intensively, and rang a quarter peal shortly beforehand. The place notation is:
X 38 X 14 . 58 . 12 X 36 X 14 X 38 X 12 X 58 Lead End 12, and the line is shown below. If you are not a ringer, click here for an explanation .
All Saints day was on Thursday, and celebrations lasted until the Sunday, when the peal was rung in the afternoon. As the peal ended, a group of wellwishers who had gathered in the church burst into applause, something the band had not anticipated. Picture of peal band The peal board by Linda Moores hangs over the ringing chamber door.
In recent years, it has been common to ring a peal on the morning of the annual tower dinner (11 peals).
Two peals were rung to make the arrival and departure of Rev David Hodgson at the start and end of his period as Rector at All Saints. On 12 April 1997 a peal of 5184 Pudsey Surprise Major and on 24 June 2023 a peal of 5152 Yorkshire Surprise Major.
On Saturday 10 May 2008, a joint band rang a peal at All Saints in the morning and at St Paul's in the afternoon. The only previous time this had been done was in 1912, and that was not by local ringers.
On Saturday 9 May 2009, a peal of Kirkby-in-Ashfield Surprise Major marked 50 years since John Harrison , All Saints longest serving ringer, learnt to ring at Kirkby-in-Ashfield. The band included people who rang with him in Kirkby, and at Cambridge University, as well as current and former Wokingham ringers.
There are pictures of some of the bands that rang in these special peals, and also in other peals and quarter peals on a separate page..
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