St James Guild of Bellringers at Badsey

Photo:Peter Stewart

Hear the bells: a toll (20K) and a repeated scale (162K).

Commemorative Peal: 100 years to the day December 30 2002

5088 changes of Evesham Surprise Major.
Composed by Arthur Craven, Conducted by Gerald C Hemming, 2hrs 49mins.
Under the heading: Worcestershire & Districts C R Association

  1. Rev: Patrick C F Wooster
  2. Katie E M Lane
  3. Christopher E Slade
  4. Maurice F Edwards
  5. Andrew N Stubbs
  6. Christopher J Stuart
  7. Gerald C Hemming (C)
  8. John F Mulvey

In celebration of the first peal rung on the augmented bells by the addition of two trebles.
December 30th 1902, Conducted by Rev: F E Robinson, 2hrs 52mins.
5040 changes of Stedman Triples

  1. W Finch
  2. A Fox
  3. H Judge
  4. W Bennett
  5. T Payne
  6. W Large
  7. Rev F E Robinson (C)
  8. F Webb

His comment - 'an excellent splice', taken from his book 'Among the bells'.

With reference to the above peal of Stedman. Assuming it was rung for the Oxford Guild, would anyone know if this was a complete visiting band or otherwise please? Quite a feat to accomplish (travelwise) one would have thought, taking into account three days later he conducted another peal of Stedman triples at Chobham Surrey! The train obviously took the strain.

Hilary Bolton, Ringing Master


Hundredth Peal for the Queen Mother

At Badsey in April 2002 the bellringers rang a "half-muffled peal" in memory of the Queen Mother. But no one at the time knew that the peal had another special significance. It was the one hundredth full peal to be rung in the tower of St. James Church.

Roger Savory who grew up in Badsey but now lives in America has compiled the Peal Record for the bells of St. James Church. He was surprised to find his total came to 99 full peals. He phoned his friend Gerald Hemming in Hampton and told him of his finding. Gerald's reply was, "Well, that means we rung the '100th Peal in the Tower' last week! It was a half-muffled Peal, In Memoriam the Queen Mother". Roger comments "For ringers it's a bit like a Test cricketer scoring 100 runs".

Roger's digging into the peal records at St. James Church has revealed some other facts. Of those 100 peals rung in the tower over the last 104 years, the first four were rung on the old six bells. This was in the 1898 - 1900 period, which was before the bells were augmented to a ring of eight. So, of the first 100 peals, 4 were rung on the six old bells and 96 were rung on the present eight bells. The first peal to be rung on the eight was on December 30, 1902, so there's another "centenary" coming along in December 2002. Furthermore, it needs only 4 more peals on the eight bells to score their 100th.

List of the first 100 peals (and beyond the first century)

Full Peal to Celebrate 100th Flower Show

On one of the hottest days of the year, bellringers at Badsey rang a full peal of 5056 changes. This marathon effort took place at St James's Church on Saturday 28th July 2001 and was to mark the occasion of the 100th Badsey Flower Show.

The eight bells were rung by members of the Worcestershire and District Change Ringing Association, conducted by Gerald C Hemming of Hampton. It took them several hours to complete a full peal of 5056 changes of Badsey Surprise Major composed by H Johnson. The glorious sound could be heard throughout the village while the final preparations were made for the Flower Show nearby at the Recreation Ground.

The first Flower Show in 1888 was held in the churchyard in conjunction with the St James Festival. The peal was a fitting way to mark the centenary of this important Vale event.

Would you like to ring?

New ringers and visiting ringers are welcome. Please contact Mr & Mrs Bolton 01386 830246. Practice night is Monday 7.30 - 9pm.

See also A few thoughts on Badsey bells and Charles A Binyon.

For technical details of the bells at Badsey see A Ringers Guide to Towers in Worcestershire.

Record breaking peal ringers in 1956 - click on picture for more information

Updated 6 November 2012.