UK place names can be confusing because politicians keep reorganising local government. Frequently, this involves changing county borders, introducing new administrative structures, scrapping counties completely, bringing back scrapped counties and so on. Ringing is a traditional pastime and it seems reasonable to use the traditional county names that have existed for centuries. Most of the towers were built when there was no alternative to the traditional county names and the majority of peals were rung and published using the traditional county names.
If you would like to know more about the traditional British counties then visit http://www.abcounties.co.uk.
Obviously, not everyone will be happy with this decision. It seems to us that the highest priority is to make peal data as accurate and accessible as possible. Researching the latest names for administrative areas and adjusting the database to reflect them seems a lower priority at this time, as the use of traditional county names still enables everyone easily to understand which towers are which.
Where towers are in a suburb of a larger conurbation the smaller area is specified first. So for example, as Jesmond is a district of Newcastle upon Tyne, the tower is referred to as Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne and not as Newcastle upon Tyne, Jesmond. You will find the tower under 'J'. This approach is used consistently on the Felstead web site. There will be situations where local ringers may describe their tower differently but consistency is more important and useful than making exceptions.
However, if you are finding it difficult to locate a particular tower then consider using the advanced search features in the Felstead website. You can, for example search for all towers that have 'Newcastle' in the name but not 'Tyne' by using a search of '+Newcastle -Tyne'.
Andrew Craddock <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mobile rings by their nature cannot be accurately categorised under one town, county or even country. However they need to be put somewhere. At present, you can find peal records of mobile rings under the letter 'M' (for Mobile rings) in this database.