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The strict meaning of te word 'peal' in change ringing circles is the ringing of at least 5000 different changes, from memory, at one go by one band of ringers. Ballymena being a predominatly call-change tower until the 80's, has had only seven such peals rung on its bells.

The first peal was of 5088 Cambridge Surprise Major, rung on Friday September 11th, 1931, in three hours and 11 minutes. It was conducted by James Simpson with Gabriel Lindoff ringing the sixth.




1931, September 11 5088 Cambridge Surprise Major Conducted by J.C.E. Simpson
1936, September 16 5024 London Surprise Major Conducted by George R. Pye
1951, April 14 5040 Plain Bob Triples Conducted by J. T. Dunwoody
1951, Nov 10 5056 Plain Bob Major Conducted by H. Brown
1965, Oct 16 5040 Grandsire Triples Conducted by J. T. Dunwoody
1983, Oct 28 5040 Plain Bob Major Conducted by A. S. Hudson
1983, July 17 5088 Yorkshire Surprise Major Conducted by G. K. Dodd

Another peal was rung in 1936, this being 5024 London Surprise Major in 3 hours and 2 minutes with many famous names including Rupert Richardson, George Pye, Leslie Morris and Ernest C. S. Turner.

Since the war ringers from the Northern District, Irish Association, rang 5040 Bob Triples in 1951, and 5056 Plain Bob Major later that same year. These were peals no. 5 and 14 in the Northern Ireland Festival of Britain programme. 5040 Grandsire Triples was rung in 1965 with Sam Letters of Ballymena ringing the tenor, presumably the first Ballymena man to ring a peal. The only other peals on the bells are 5040 Plain Bob Major in 1983, conducted by Andrew Hudson, and a peal by a visiting band from England in July 1985 of 5088 Yorkshire Surprise Major, conducted by G. K. Dodd.