For those who don't know, "What's hot on BellBoard" is a weekly feature in the Ringing World which prints and comments on the top five performances. At the time of writing (7th December 2020), for the first time in a while, all of the top five are peals. Unsurprisingly in the current circumstances, they are all on handbells. Here is my commentary.
- First is a peal of Plain Bob Minor by the Ellis family, with Dominic ringing his first peal at the age of 9, and Peter and Louise ringing their first handbell peals. Well done to all.
- In second place is a peal of the 147 regular treble dodging minor methods, by Colin Newman, Daniel Page and Jack Page. Having rung the 41 surprise minor methods, the thought of four times as much learning is daunting. It was also the 100th peal this year at the Page residence.
- Third is the Page boys again, ringing Chandler's 23-spliced surprise major with Graham and Janet John. Jack Page conducted, the day after conducting the 147 minor. Chandler's on handbells is a great achievement, and according to PealBase this is only the sixth time it has been rung. It's a great achievement on tower bells too. I haven't rung it myself, and it's one of the most notable gaps in my ringing CV. If you don't know it, 22 of the 23 methods are wrong-place (the exception is Pudsey), probably the easiest of them is Bristol, and unlike Norman Smith's 23-spliced there are no repeated place bells among the methods.
- Number four is a peal of 6060 Original Minor for the 60th anniversary to the day of the first peal by the Liverpool University Society in 1960. It was also footnoted in celebration of the life of Richard Starkie, who I used to ring with on the annual Keele Summer Schools. I haven't rung much Original on handbells (or on tower bells, for that matter) but it's very fast and furious. The callings linked from the BellBoard report are varied and not particularly straightforward. It must have taken a great deal of concentration. Original is part of the ART Learning the Ropes (Handbells) scheme, and I have always wondered how many people are ringing it - so it's interesting to see a whole peal.
- In fifth place is another peal of Plain Bob Minor, also a first peal for Peter Spain. Judging by the photo, I would say he's slightly older than Dominic Ellis. Well done Peter.