A Second First


Painted board recording the ringing of a Grandsire minor peal in 1866

Two years after the first peal, a second important ringing achievement occurred.

In 1866 the ringers successfully rang 720 changes of Grandsire minor. Once again this was the first such peal in Cornwall. The record board lists the participants as:


Treble John Cox

2nd William Banister

3rd Maitland Kelly Esq

4th John Baker

5th John Drew

Tenor H R Trelawny Esq


Trelawny, Baker and Cox all took part in the original peal of 1864. On this later occasion they were joined by William Banister from Devonport, John Drew (of whom nothing is known) and Maitland Kelly, the brother of Trelawny's wife, Juliana. Kelly was 22 at this time and already an enthusiastic ringer, he at some stage took Holy Orders. He followed Trelawny's example of teaching his staff and tenants to ring and went on to become influential in West Country ringing, helping to found the Guild of Devonshire Ringers in 1874.


William Banister was born in 1824 in Woolwich and came from a large family of ringers. He had at least five brothers all of whom were taught to ring by their father Henry. The family were frequent participants in peals rung at Woolwich from the 1840's onwards. William Banister was a member of the Ancient Society of College Youths and rang in the then record breaking 7524 Stedman Cinques at St Giles, Cripplegate in 1851. He was a working man employed at Her Majesty's Dockyard in Woolwich. In 1865 he was transferred to Devonport Dockyard where he established a change ringing band at the Dockyard Chapel. In 1874 Banister published a book entitled The Art and Science of Change Ringing.


Text of the 1866 Peal Board

The painted board also records the names of the Rector and Church Wardens. The two wardens Francis Luxton and Joel Down were a local farmer and master mason respectively.


The rector was Revd. Canon Thomas Hullah, he was in office from 1865 until 1911 when he died. Revd Hullah was a man of great energy, he started Night Schools for working children and was responsible for the building of churches throughout the area. These included All Saints, Harrowbarrow, which was built in 1871, St Ann's, Gunnislake consecrated in 1880 and St Michael & All Angels, Latchley opened in 1883. The two main reasons for the opening of these additional churches were the size and topography of the Parish and 'competition' from non-conformist chapels.



Thanks are due to The Revd. Canon Gordon Ruming and the Whiting Society of Ringers who researched and provided the information about the ringers.

Calstock Society of Change Ringers is affiliated to the Truro Diocesan Guild of Ringers.

Calstockbellringers.com is supported by a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

© 2018 - 2019 Sue McClaughry All Rights Reserved