Biographies  H-R              A-G    S-Z



Mike Harvey

13.2.1942 - 17.5.2020


Michael Roy Harvey was born in Paulerspury.  For his first four years he was brought up by his grandparents (the Hammonds, who owned the local bakery) while his father was away in the war.  When Mike’s father returned from the war the family moved several times before finally settling in Rothersthorpe when Mike was about 10.  He went to Blisworth School and then the newly opened Roade School.

Mike was taught to ring by Mike Bennett at Rothersthorpe, he was one of several youths forming a keen new band in 1959. He joined the Guild’s Northampton Branch in 1959. The young ringers in this and nearby towers were very active with cycle outings and motorcycling to other practices. His records show that he rang in 79 towers by the end of 1960 and at these rang 67 of the tenors. Mike first called a quarter peal on October 23, 1960 Plain Bob Doubles at Rothersthorpe. He rang seven peals, the first being St Sylvester Doubles at Weston Favell on December 30, 1961, and 16 quarter peals, before marrying Jill Williams at Rothersthorpe on December 18, 1965. He rang a couple more peals in 1966-7.

After 1967, Mike didn’t appear in ringing circles again for 27 years! Mike and Jill moved to Weedon in 1969, where they reared their two children, Richard and Caroline. Mike worked at Plessey Caswell Research then went to manufacturing at Plessey, Towcester.  He progressed from draughtsman through to managing factory layouts and introducing new technologies.  When Plessey downsized, he joined a fast growing new technology company, Psion in Milton Keynes.  Psion grew exponentially then shrank just as fast!  Next he went to Chemence Ltd at Corby where he was involved in modernising systems. 

Then Jill learned to ring at Weedon in 1994. Mike turned up at a Guild Open Day in October 1996, asking lots of questions about ringers from the 1960s! They both became regular ringers and rang in a quarter peal at Badby for the Daventry branch quarter peal day on November 16, 1996, which was Jill’s first.

At his 60th birthday party, Debbie Sampson and friends presented Mike with an unusual present – a toilet seat – as he appreciated a ‘nice piece of wood’ and could often be seen running his hands over nicely finished wood objects in churches and towers.  Inscribed round the seat is the circle of work for Grandsire Doubles and Debbie’s verse on the inner lid summing up life so far

It all began when Bob Doubles he rang, 
In his youth, in the long distant past.
Then there was a gap for the family chap,
Now he’s back with a vengeance, at last!
At methods major and minor,
He’s now quite a shiner.
His performance could warrant an Oscar.
His touches abound,
some even come round.
Happy ringing and “Wotcha Tosca!”


After retiring in 2007, Mike enjoyed his garden and allotment and was able to travel including USA, Russia, Cuba, Egypt, Ecuador and Galapagos, China and many European countries. 

Mike rang one more peal, the treble at Rothersthorpe to 52 doubles methods in 2002. He also rang 81 more quarter peals.  These ranged from doubles to cinques, the latter being specially arranged for him at Peterborough Cathedral in 2014. In his early days he began on the treble, but soon took a liking for tenor bells and was always ready to take on these ‘big beasts’.  He now moved quickly on to ring inside to Cambridge and Yorkshire S Major, seven quarters on 10 bells and his last was at Litchborough on July 3, 2019.

In September 2019, Mike entered Northampton General Hospital for a serious but routine operation to remove some cancerous bowel. After fighting infections, he was eventually moved to Danetre Hospital, Daventry to rehabilitate his seriously reduced mobility on March 30, 2020. Liver cancer was diagnosed in late April and he passed away peacefully on May 17, 2020 aged 78.  

Mike expressed a wish to have a green burial.  He rests at Greenhaven, Lilbourne, surrounded by trees and wild flowers after a small family funeral subject to coronavirus regulations.

GHP with thanks to Jill Harvey and RW DVDs



Arthur Howes

1926  - 16.8.2015                     

Click here for life story                         




Frederick W Hutt

14.9.1915 - 28.4.1999


Fred Hutt was born in Byfield on Holy Cross day 1915 and lived there all his life except for the time he was on active service with the Sherwood Foresters in Africa and Italy. He died at home on 28th April after spending a typical evening at the club. In September 1938, Fred first got his hands on the 5th rope and was encouraged by George Haynes to try to get it up. After several weeks of trying, he succeeded. To ring on Sundays he had to wait until Mr Ayles was sick when he was allowed to take his bell until he was better. He went on to be tower captain for 56 years. He temporarily took over winding the clock in 1948 and gave up when it was electrified in 1991! Janet and Fred were married at the chapel in 1949. They had no children. Fred sought her patient permission to spend a considerable amount of his time ringing and at the pub. When Janet died in 1993, he continued to live in Potter’s End behind the wrought iron gate with a bell worked into it. Typical Fred - he set to and learned the art of cooking and made full traditional meals. 


He was a chorister for 74 years at Holy Cross, Byfield. He was churchwarden from 1959 covering six rectors. When he retired he was made churchwarden emeritus. He was well versed in how to deal with interregnums. He wrote full instructions in 1993 for his funeral, including a contingency plan if he died during one, which he did. The service was taken by former rector (1962-1971) the Revd Andrew Freer. The organ was played by his friend, choirmaster and organist of many years Eric Bates and the full choir sang his chosen hymns and psalm. From the full church, his coffin was carried to be buried west of the tower, draped with St George’s flag for England, by four of the 1980s band with the organ playing Land of Hope and Glory. Fred was proud of being educated at the village school but went on learning all his life. He had a great sense of integrity, humour, tradition, occasion and history. Robin Rogers had the guild master’s badge rehung after adverse comments from Fred about its upkeep and only on the previous Saturday had hoped Fred could see how well it was being kept.


“You don’t want to keep hearing about the war" 

He thrived on military life and serving with the Sherwood Foresters gave him a huge fund of experience, comradeship and tales. He made annual pilgrimages to their memorial at Crich and to the reunion in Nottingham. He made a return visit to Tunisia in 1993 with old comrades. Fred was described as conservative, not reactionary, during his funeral. He had, perhaps reluctantly, accepted lady priests, lady members of his beloved College Youths and knew that a lady rector is to arrive in September. He hated the use of ‘person’. Chairman and ringing master is the title whether man or woman!


“Hello Fred, what are you doing here?” 

Fred had no car, but in the early days, bicycles and the many train services available from the village enabled him to get about the country widely. In later times he always found a lift. He met the famous and was particularly proud of being photographed with Bishop Jenkins at the Durham & Newcastle dinner in 1985. In 1980 Carole and I took Fred to the LUSCR dinner, where a guest speaker said "Hello Fred, what are you doing here” (a phrase heard in towers and pubs in many parts of the country!) It was only after descending from St Nic’s on Friday night that he told me that it was his first ring on 12. Fred instigated a Christmas outing followed by an evening of self-made entertainment which has become a tradition. The highlight was his psalm, sung in four parts, which recorded events of the year. In support of home crafts, Fred had a ringers’ jug and mugs made (see photo). Ringing out the old year was also a tradition featuring one of the band drinking in the belfry whilst standing on their head. Ringing often went on to the early hours.


“I don't want to bore you” 

In local ringing circles he kept a band going at Byfield and supported Daventry branch and helped to form the Culworth branch in 1947. With his inimitable gangling unsure style he eventually broke out of Grandsire Doubles and rang Cambridge Minor, Stedman Triples and Caters with quiet guidance. If he went wrong, he spent the rest of the touch considering the reasons and was able to give a good rigmarole at the end! He was particularly proud that one of his ringers went on to become general secretary of the Llandaff and Monmouth DA and with her help we hope his tales of life and ringing in the village will be published. In the mid-1980s a new band started from scratch. Then ringing rector Revd Colin Hewitt helped Fred to achieve a life-long ambition - to rehang the six and augment to eight. He put a telling amount of effort into getting the funds and arranging voluntary labour to see a ring of eight dedicated in September 1991. His speech before two bishops on that occasion was a tour de force and long! The treble was given by Fred and older ringer Cyril Nicholls and it records the names of eight Byfield ringers. After the eight were installed, the young band dispersed and the seventh cracked. Fred set about raising the money outside the village as the PCC were raising funds for other work, but he did feel poorly supported by them at this time. The new bell proclaims ‘Remember Janet Mary Hutt 1914-1993’. The cracked seventh was used as a dumb-bell to teach Alison Buck to ring and she now takes over as tower captain supported by Simon Shepherd as steeple keeper. Fred has had several spells of being unable to climb to the belfry and last made it on 12th February.


He was a regular visitor to Badby from 1982 and records show that he rang at 696 practices! His last ring was on 24th March. Ringing or not, he much anticipated refreshment in the Windmill. For full effect, Fred always waited for full attention before speaking, in later years the pauses got so long that a snippet of Newnham scandal could be inserted. Getting him out of the Windmill was a highly developed art, delayed by running the gauntlet of the deliberately provocative locals.


“To cut a very long story short” 

A man of many parts, he has been on Jimmy Young’s radio phone in, Radio Northampton and on TV about the Elephant Man, to whom his father spoke when he stayed nearby. I can go on about Fred for ages, as can others from the choir, the British Legion, the village ... No doubt we shall. After the funeral the following quarter peal of 1,287 Grandsire Triples was rung by Bob Sinclair 1, Catherine Hayman 2, Geoff Pullin 3, Carole Pullin 4, Ken Ramsbotham 5, Murray Coleman (C) 6, Peter Alexander 7, Simon Shepherd 8.

GHP Published in RW July 30, 1999 p740


Click here for Fred's Little Book.



Trevor Jarvis

27.2.1958 - 1.12.2016

Trevor died at Cynthia Spencer Hospice, Northampton, aged 58, on December 1, 2016. Trevor was a member of the Guild for over 40 years and had served on the Northampton Branch committee and as an officer for many years.  He was Chairman of the Branch from 2005 - 2010 and continued to serve on the Guild's General Management Committee until 2014. 

His funeral took place on December 16, at Milton Malsor Crematorium, which was filled to overflowing by family and friends.


George W Jeffs

18.9.1903 - 31.10.1961

With deep regret we record the death on October 31 at the age of 58, of George Wilfrid Jeffs, General Secretary and Treasurer of the Peterborough Diocesan Guild since 1952.  Before that date he had been for several years secretary of the Thrapston Branch and had represented the Guild on the Central Council from 1945 until his death.  George was a chorister at Tichmarsh for 50 years, and had been for some time chairman of the Thrapston Branch of CEMS.  He was a very capable ringer and enjoyed an occasional peal, particularly on the fine eight of his beloved Tichmarsh, the church to which he was devoted and had served all his life

George came of ringing stock, his father, also George, having been a founder member of the Guild’s predecessor the Raunds, Wellingborough and District Society, and he himself had been a member of the Guild since its inception.

His first peal was Grandsire Triples at Tichmarsh on September 16, 1922.  His peal total is not to hand but is believed to have been in the region of 100, including the first of spliced treble bob major for the Norwich DA at Salle and many of which he conducted.  The last quarter peal that he rang was half-muffled at Woodford on February 14, 1961.

George married Miss Baxter at Tichmarsh on December 3, 1935.  They resided at Tichmarsh until their house was destroyed by incendiary bombs during the last war, when they moved to Thrapston.  George was employed as a forester on the Lilford Estate for many years, and latterly as a carpenter for a Thrapston firm. 

During the period that he has been Secretary, the Guild saw several changes and new undertakings, including the beginning   of the very popular summer festival and the week-end course. He handled the affairs of this large, mainly rural Guild with characteristic competence and diplomacy and endeared himself to all

The funeral took place at Tichmarsh on November 4 in the presence of a large congregation, which included many members of the Guild and representatives of the Ely and Lincoln Diocesan Guilds.  The service was conducted by Canon Luckock (Rector of Tichmarsh), assisted by Canon G F Turner (Guild President) and the Revds. J Dakin and C J W Faulkner.  A course of Grandsire Triples was rung on handbells around the coffin after the Blessing, and the half-muffled bells were rung as the cortege left the church for Kettering Crematorium, where several other ringing friends were able to pay their last respects.  Several memorial quarter and full peals were rung in subsequent days.

Info from obituary by Pat Chapman in RW 1961 p771 and CCCBR biography  http://bellringinghistory.org.uk/Biog_Image.aspx?RecID=455  and RW DVDs


Ernest Kellett 

21.8.1929 - 3.10.2017

Ernest Kellett died peacefully at Rutland Care Village on Tuesday, October 3, 2017, aged 88, after a short illness.  

Ernest became an unattached member of the Rutland Branch in 2002 and was branch secretary for 2002 and 2003. He had been a founder member of the South Notts District of the Southwell & Nottingham Guild and its chairman in 1979 and 1980. 

His funeral took place at Market Overton on October 17. See quarter peals here and here.

The eulogy given at the funeral:

Ernest Kellett has passed away and his friends will mourn his death for he was such a gentleman.

He had a brilliant mind and his intelligence shone out of him but he was so modest. He never spoke about his successes of the past and his quiet, gentle demeanour made him very relaxing company. He was always friendly and unfailingly courteous with an olde worldly charm. His ready smile and lively interest in all he came into contact with endeared him to friends and strangers alike. He will be missed.

Ernest was born in Bradford in 1929, and attended Carlton High School in that city. He then obtained his BSc (London), studying at Bradford Technical College. He joined GEC as a research scientist, being loaned to government labs in Harlow, Essex for his first two years.

In 1953 he married Val. Their partnership lasted 64 years and was one that many would envy for they were a couple who really enjoyed each other’s company and were rarely apart. They enjoyed games and their house and garden. Val is a brilliant cook and they enjoyed shopping for ingredients.

Following their marriage, Ernest returned to the GEC labs in Wembley to work in X-Ray crystallography. Ernest and Val made their home in Wembley for the next 20 years. In 1972 he was awarded an external PhD in physics by London University, having studied within GEC.

In 1973 they moved to Nottingham where Ernest was deputy director in research for the hosiery and knitting industry. They moved again to the Sheffield area, where Ernest served as Director of Research for the glass industry and retired in 1987.

Ernest was still was doing his crosswords until the day before he died.

Bell ringing was what made them tick. Ernest heard the bells on Doncaster station and thought it sounded great and resolved to acquire that skill. They were taught by George Dawson, tower captain at St Mary’s Nottingham, when they lived in Willoughby on the Wolds where Ernest was church warden.
He eventually became Chairman of the South Notts district of the Southwell guild of bellringers. They continued ringing after they moved to Yorkshire, living in the village of Hoyland Swaine near Barnsley, and ringing first at Hoyland Swaine and later at Kirkheaton near Huddersfield. Ernest had been church warden at Hoyland Swaine and parish secretary at Penistone.

In 2001 they moved to Market Overton where they lived to this day. Again they continued ringing, and Ernest became the secretary of the Rutland Branch of the Peterborough Diocesan Guild.

Competent and respected he gave great service to the church with his dedicated service to the world of ringing.   

Thanks to the Rutland Branch website.


Shelagh Melville (née Collins)

2.9.1929 - 18.10.2013

 

 Click here for obituary published in The Ringing World




Burley Morris

1.5.1912 – 24.11.1997

Burley Potter Morris was taught to ring at Warkton, Northants in 1926 and was a ringer there until 1957. He represented the Peterborough Diocesan Guild on the Central Council from 1951 - 1953 and attended 2 meetings. He was Master of the Guild 1955-1957, when Burley moved to Derbyshire to become Postmaster of Ashbourne. He then rang at Darley Dale, and was made Hon. General Secretary of the Derbyshire Diocesan Association. 

Burley was a founder member of the Post Office Guild of Bellringers. Whilst at Ashbourne, he was awarded a special GPO commendation for fighting off an armed raider. During the Second World War, he was in the army, posted to somewhere near Barnet and involved in top-secret work which he still could not talk about.  He featured in the Ringing World article ‘Servants of the Exercise’ No 43 (RW 21.10.1960).

The one thing that Burley loved most in ringing was a peal, he rang a total of 1076. His first was at Warkton on 4th August 1928, and he travelled far and wide. Some of interest were: Stedman Triples at Stayning, Sussex 15th May 1934 Cond. Keith Hart, Cambridge S Major St Mary, Staines 15th November 1934 Cond. George Pye, Stedman Caters St Magnus the Martyr, London 23rd November 1935 Cond. Charles Coles (with James George on the 9th aged 82), Stedman Cinques Leicester Cath. 30th March 1940 Cond. H. J. Poole, Bristol S Major, Barnet 14th October 1944 Cond. H. G. Cashmore etc etc his total by his 65th birthday was 410. He celebrated 60 years membership of the Peterborough Guild the day after his 75th birthday with a peal of Yorkshire Surprise Royal at Sapcote. He repeated this on his 80th birthday by when he had rung 764. His sights were then set on 1000, and with Brian Warwick’s peal factory behind him he achieved this mile-stone on 16th October 1995, Yorkshire S Royal at Sapcote Cond. B. G. Warwick (where he rang 106). He rang 312 after his 80th birthday which included 77 in 1994 and 75 in 1995! His last peal was Yorkshire S Royal at Sapcote 23rd August 1997 Cond. M. Angrave a peal he set his heart on, which was for Mary and his Golden Wedding and although not being well his ringing was very creditable. Chris Stephenson, who also learned to ring at Warkton rang in this last peal and the 75th and 80th birthday peals, which were both conducted by Murray Coleman.  The following week Burley and Mary entertained 70 friends (many ringers) to a celebratory lunch.

Burley’s last quarter was at Sapcote for Princess Diana, a lovely majestic half-muffled Cambridge S Major which took 47 minutes. He came to practice the following Tuesday, and his last ring was a course of Rutland S Major. We had to help him down the stairs; eight days later he had lost the use of his legs and was admitted to hospital where cancer of the spine was diagnosed.

The Funeral took place at St Mary’s, Broughton Astley on 1st December. Burley was a very high church man and worshipped here rather than Sapcote.  The Sapcote ringers rang a quarter before the service, and rang him into the church with a little touch of 40 changes. The service was conducted by the Rev Peter Burrows assisted by Revd Nicola Hunt. Incense were well swung. ‘The Lord’s my shepherd’ (Crimond), ‘The day Thou gavest’, and ‘The King of love my shepherd is’ were sung heartily by the large congregation which included many ringers. Peter’s address of Burley’s 85 years was very inspiring. As the cortege left the church the Sapcote ringers said farewell with a course of Double Norwich, and when I said THAT IS ALL it seemed very poignant. His ashes were laid in Sapcote Cemetery within the sound of Sapcote bells.

There were many peals and quarter peals rung in tribute and the Northants Midweek Group observed a short silence at its Burton Latimer meeting in December, in memory of Burley, who came occasionally to the meetings and was well-known to most of those present. Burley’s copies of the  PDG Annual Reports 1951-86 were bound for the Kettering Branch library to follow on from R G Black's donation of 1924-50.

Based on the obituary by Michael E Brown in RW 1998 p92, with additional info from CCCBR Biography and Murray Coleman.


James (Jim) Roland Mossop

19.12.1932 - 5.8.2007

Jim and his wife Jenny moved to Kettering around 1971. He was soon tower captain and served for twenty years. He was a member of Kettering Branch from 1971 - 2002; on the Branch Committee 1972-82 including GMC Representative and Branch Chairman from 1974-9. He was Guild Steward 1973 to 1978. He was a member of the Society of Royal Cumberland Youths for over 50 years.

Jim entered his first belfry, St. Michael’s, Workington, aged about fifteen, and was immediately hooked. Little did the then Rector realise at the time, when he invited a group of youth club members to learn to ring the bells, that he was giving some of them a lifetime of enjoyment. The bells of St. Michael’s church had been silent since the wartime ban came into force, and the pre-war ringers were too old to start again. The teenagers were taught to handle by the long serving tower captain Mr A J Sanderson, but were then left to their own devices. Jimmy, being a little older than the rest was elected their leader, and soon started them on the process of learning the art of change ringing.  Jim rarely missed Sunday service ringing, and every Christmas and New Year’s Eve would find him in the ringing chamber on the end of a rope.  Under Jimmy’s leadership they built up a small repertoire of doubles methods for service ringing, and rang a few quarter peals for service. On one very proud occasion they rang to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth.

Jim met his wife Jennifer in the belfry in 1954 and they were married at Egremont in 1957. He went on to pass his enthusiasm to their children, Jonathan, David, and Jane. He was a very special father, and a loving grandfather to Maria and Rebecca. Besides his family, the two most important things in his life were his work and his ringing.

He started work with Workington Town Council and made rapid progress in his chosen profession to qualify in civil, municipal, and highways engineering. He served in various local government offices, in, Wales, Scotland, and England, before finally joining his beloved Planning Inspectorate in 1969.

Despite suffering a few critical comments about the unsuitability of wearing a cardigan in the office and about cockiness, he rose steadily through the ranks, finally reaching the dizzy heights of Deputy Chief Planning Inspector. He had a famous maxim for training new inspectors: keep it simple, and always read the words.

Jim was a meticulous man, paying strict attention to detail. He kept files on everything from sundries to sundials. His information gathering was done in such a way, that he quickly had you in stitches.

As the tower captain at Kettering, Jim taught countless students the noble art of campanology.  In 1978 disaster struck when the 8th bell, one of the only two Eayre bells cast in Kettering remaining in the tower, cracked beyond repair.  Jim’s drive and enthusiasm saw sufficient money raised to recast the 8th and also provide two new trebles to make the first ring of 12 in the Diocese. Sadly, the late 70s was not a good time to raise large sums of money for bell restoration and some people wished that a more thorough restoration of Kettering bells had been possible! It is ironic, therefore, that it was the cracking once more in 2001 of the recast 10th of the 12 that led to the whole ring being replaced by the new Whitechapel 12 in 2004.

The revision of the management structure of the Guild, created the new post of Guild Steward. The remit for the post included organising regular inspection of as many of the rings in the Diocese as feasible, initiating regular maintenance and repair where there were no local ringers, teaching maintenance and repair techniques. With his engineering background Jim was an ideal choice and held the office from 1973 – 1978  office.

Another of Jim’s talents was calligraphy, and some of his work is displayed in the ringing chamber of Kettering Church. A particularly fine example of his work commemorates a historic peal in Her Majesty’s Free Chapel of St. George in Windsor Castle.

Jim and Jenifer returned to Cumbria in 2002 where Jim endeared himself to all the Whitehaven ringers, both experienced and new learners.   He rang many quarter peals including one at Workington fifty years after the previous one rung for the Queen's Coronation. Everyone will miss Jimmy with his humour and his willingness to help.

Jim died on August 5, 2007 and his funeral was held at Egremont. Jennifer died in 2016.

Extracted from the Obituary and an Appreciation by Jack McTear, both in RW 2008 p228 and Letter from John Weaver, RW 2008 p262

For special ringing click here.


David J Nichols

29.5.1881 - 24.5.1929

The Kettering band and the Peterborough Guild have sustained another loss by the lamented death of Mr D J Nichols, which took place at his home 3 York Road, Kettering, on Friday, May 24, at the early age of 48 years.  Mr. Nichols was one of the best-known and most accomplished ringers and conductors among the Guild members. 

In 1899 he learned to ring with the Kettering band, of which he was leader for some years until unable to carry on owing to ill-health.  He was a man of fine character, and a splendid disposition, whose place will be hard to fill.  The work of the Guild was very dear to him.  He was specially gifted in teaching young ringers, and many in his locality owe what they know of the art and of conducting to Mr. Nichols' able tuition.

When ill-health kept him from climbing the belfry stairs, he always made welcome at his home any ringers, young or old, who called to see him, and several have, during that time, learned many things of benefit to them on ringing matters.

Mr. Nichols served on the Central Council of Church Bellringers from 1912 to 1926, and was elected General Hon. Secretary of the Central Northants Association in 1920, which position he held up to the formation of the Peterborough Diocesan Guild in 1924.  He took an active part as the acting secretary in the reorganisation, and was duly elected the first General Secretary of the new Guild on January 5, 1924.  He convened the meeting in 1925 which inaugurated the new Daventry Branch.  He served in the R FA on the Western Front during the war, and his war services had ill effects on his health, and was practically an invalid for the last five or more years. He had to resign as Secretary early in 1926 owing to ill-health.

All his peals, 124 in number, were rung for the Central Northants Association, of which he conducted 80. His first peal was Plain Bob Minor rung at Rushton on June 25, 1903.  The peals ranged from doubles, through multi-minor, Surprise Major to Stedman Caters and of the total, 42 were on handbells, of which he conducted 23.  Mr. Nichols was writing a history of the bells and ringers of Kettering, and the peals which have been rung there, but this is unfinished.

The funeral took place at Kettering Cemetery on Monday, May 27.  The first portion of the service being conducted by the Revd S M Morris, assisted by Mr. F. Wilford (Master of the Guild), who read the lesson, in the Church of SS Peter and Paul.  As the cortege approached the church, the bells were chimed by his fellow ringers.  In addition to the family mourners, a large number of' ringers met to pay a last tribute of respect to a departed friend, and amongst these were Revd R C Thursfield, JP (President Kettering Branch), Revd L H Lethbridge; Revd E J Atkins, Mr F Wilford (Guild Master), Mrs Wilford, Miss Thursfield and Miss Hepburn (Ladies' Guild), Messrs W T Wilson (Treasurer), R G Black (General Secretary), F Barber and H Baxter (branch secretaries), A E York, W Perkins, T R Hensher,  A Tompkins, S J Lawrence, W Lawrence, A Bellamy, A Smart, C Moore, B Morris and the Kettering ringers.

After the committal sentences, a course of Grandsire Triples was rung over the grave by Messrs A  V  Inns 1-2,  R  G  Black 3-4, E  Chapman 5-6,  A  Henman 7-8  

The bells of the Church of SS  Peter and Paul were rung half-muffled in the afternoon and evening to touches of Grandsire and Stedman Triples and the ‘whole pull and stand'  48 times by Messrs W Perkins, A Henman, A E Payne, R F Turner, C W Bird, R G Black, T R Hensher, and A V Inns. 

On Monday evening at St  Giles', Northampton, a quarter-peal of Grandsire Caters (1,259 changes) was rung in 53 mins as a last token of respect by: Messrs H Key 1, W Rogers 2, J J Taylor 3, S J Lawrence 4, T Tebbutt 5, T Law 6, J T Hensman 7, F Wilford (conductor) 8, G Flavell 9 and W Gammage 10   

Compiled from Inaugural PDG meeting RW 1924 p13; first AGM RW1924 p379; Daventry Branch formed RW1925 p485; resignation RW 1926 p174; obituary RW1929 p358; CCCBR Biographical record http://bellringinghistory.org.uk/Biog_Image.aspx?RecID=594



Ron Noon 

16.8.1925 - 3.8.2015

Brian Harris writes:

Ronald Cecil Noon

Ron was a pillar of our exercise and of his parish church of St. Mary and St. Nicholas, Spalding.  Born in Earls Barton, Northamptonshire, Ron learned to ring, at the age of 13, with a group of lads of a similar vintage, at Brafield on the Green, near Northampton. By 1940 they had progressed to a quarter peal, to be followed up by a peal at Cogenhoe in April 1940. lt was a peal of mixed doubles and Ron and his fellow learners rang the front five bells, their mentor conducting from the tenor. The five were all ringing their first peal. At this time the war-time ban on the ringing of church bells was only a few months away, so their activities were seriously curtailed.  Ron joined up at 18 years of age, just before the end of the war, when he enlisted in the Grenadier Guards. At the Guards depot at Caterham, Ron met the Cheshire ringer, happily still with us, Bernard Ongley and they formed a life long friendship, They first rang together on VE day 1945. When at the training battalion in Windsor, by the good offices of Norman Harding, they managed to avoid all church parades, being required for service ringing at Windsor Parish Church!  Ron was extremely proud of his peal at The Curfew Tower, Windsor, when he rang the 5th to a peal of Grandsire Triples, conducted by Norman Harding.   As recently recorded in the Ringing World, Ron took part in the Victory ringing at Croydon parish church.

Ron saw service in Germany after the war and on demobilisation, returned to Northamptonshire where he resumed active peal ringing.  ln 1949, he was elected as secretary of the Peterborough Diocesan Guild, a post he held until he moved to Spalding  in 1952.  During this time, Ron occasionally returned to the place of his birth, to play the organ in the absence of the church's regular organist. His move to Spalding was occasioned by his marriage to Joy Rawding on 27th September 1952.   He chose a bride with excellent ringing connections, Joy's father, Charlie Rawding was in charge at Surfleet, then the lightest peal of twelve in the world, and, what is more, his very first employment had been as a house boy to The Reverend Henry Law James.  Joy, herself, had been baptised by that eminent cleric. Ron had met Joy at a Ladies Guild meeting in Northampton and the die was cast. Their homes in Spalding at the splendidly named 'Pennygate' and later 'Woolram Wygate' became welcome ports of call to many of us; their hospitality, aided by Ron's expertise in producing delicious home made wine from the produce of his excellent garden" was of a most generous order. Joy and Ron's daughter, Rosemary, completed a very happy family; of course, she learned to ring,

Both in Northampton and Spalding Ron worked for the gas board, but transferred his expertise to a company in Spalding that manufactured, among other things, aluminium window frames. When Ron and Joy moved to their bungalow in Woolram Wygate, which Ron had helped to design on the then avant guard 'open plan' system, he also designed all the window frames, which were produced at his place of employment.

Ron had e very beneficial effect on the ringing at Spalding. Soon after his arrival he set about organising ringing outings and social events, he was always aware of the advantage of mixing serious ringing with less taxing pleasure. Ron's first peal in the Spalding area was at the end of 1952, It was conducted by Stan Bennett, who was to become a regular member of Ron's Monday night peal band, which operated from the mid 50's well into the 60's. The band made excellent use of the many good eights in South Lincolnshire and had soon rung peals in the standard methods and spliced surprise.  They went on to complete the alphabet in surprise major. A peal of Glasgow, albeit with 6th place bobs- was a highlight; very few peals in that method were rung at the time. The band provided an opportunity for a great many youngsters to take their first steps in surprise major, including; Roger Bailey, Keith Davey, Derek J. Jones and Alan Payne. Again, the social side was not neglected: Ron proved himself an expert in the strange Lincolnshire variation of Bar Billiards.

The 70's saw a number of excellent recruits to the Spalding Sunday Service band, Under Ron's careful but forceful tuition, Jim Benner, Ian Butters, Leslie Boyle and Susan Tyrell (later Agg) made splendid progress. The service ringing was of great variety and of a high order. Ron was an even tempered man and normally quietly spoken but he could ‘bark’ in the belfry and make his presence felt. This was illustrated when, in a Monday night peal of Grandsire Caters at Surfleet, schoolboy Roger Bailey began with an excessive length of tail-end. Well into the peal, this loop of rope managed to attach itself to a coat hook at Roger’s back. Sensing an imminent end to the attempt, Ron roared across the belfry “Get it off”. Roger immediately obeyed and the peal was saved. Sport featured prominently in Ron’s life. He was a keen cricketer before moving to the more sedate atmosphere of the bowling green. As a capable musician, Ron was an active member of the Spalding handbell ringing group, for whom he produced all the musical arrangements for four- in-hand ringing. He was a longstanding member of the Handbell Ringers of Great Britain. After his retirement, Ron, together with Canon Ernest Orland, established the South Lincs Wednesday Afternoon Ringing Group. It is still going and well supported by ringers from a wide area. Ron took on the job as verger at Spalding, ably assisted by Joy and together they delighted in keeping church matters running smoothly in a pristine church building. The church shop was their pride and joy, with its extended range of items for the discerning visitor. Sadly, Joy became ill some years ago. The decision was made to move to Fakenham to be nearer to Rosemary. In the event, it was Ron who became the more seriously ill. We extend our love and sympathy to Joy and Rosemary in their loss of a much loved husband and father.

BRIAN HARRIS Chester

I would like to thank: Rosemary Noon, Jim Benner, Sue and Derek Jones, Bernard Ongley, Janet Orland and Joan and Alan Payne, for their help in the preparation of this memoir.



Ernest Orland

1929 - 28.1.2011


Click here for obituary published in The Ringing World

Photo when President at first 50 year membership certificate presentation 5/1/1974



Arnold Henry Page 


1.3.1851 – 10.11.1943


The Very Revd Arnold Henry Page was Dean of Peterborough from 1908 to 1928.  He became the first President of this Guild from its formation in 1924 until 1928.

He was born in Carlisle on March 1, 1851,  was educated at Repton and Balliol College, Oxford, where he graduated with honours in 1875. Three years later he was called to the Bar by the Inner Temple; but in 1882 he was ordained deacon and in 1883 priest by Dr Jackson, Bishop of London.

He held London curacies until in 1886 Balliol appointed him to the rectory of Tendring, in Essex. There he was elected to the Essex County Council, and was placed on the county Bench.

After 22 years in a congenial sphere, he was appointed to the Deanery of Peterborough. Page was a broad churchman, whose tact and ability to get on with people were unfailing. He found scope in the city for much of the work that he had done in Essex, and was appointed a JP for the Liberty of Peterborough. He was also a prudent and keen guardian of the fabric of the Cathedral, and it was under him that the great restoration, particularly of the roof, after the ravages of the death-watch beetle, was carried out, for which purpose some £38,000 was raised in 10 years, principally in the diocese.

He was always interested in education, and had been a governor of several schools. In 1928 he retired from the Deanery and settled in London. He and his brother, the late Ernest Page KC, married sisters, the daughters of Colonel C C Grantham. Mrs Page died in 1938.

Obituary The Very Rev A.H Page The Times Friday, 12 Nov 1943; pg. 7; Issue 49701; col E


Michael A. Parker

7.1931 - 10.6.1997

Members of the Peterborough Guild were saddened to learn when arriving at the Guild AGM this year that one of the leading members of the Peterborough branch, and also of the host church, Peterborough St Mary, had died suddenly the Tuesday previously.

Mick had been a ringer for 43 years, and was assistant ringing master of the branch. During the Guild service before the meeting our thoughts were centred on his service to the church and ringing, and on his family who were present as always at St Mary’s to help with the arrangements.

Mick was born in Oby near Great Yarmouth in July 1931. He started ringing in 1954 at Wisbech St Mary, taught by George Sharpe. He had met George’s daughter Joan when he was in his early teens, and they married in July 1957 when they moved to Peterborough. He joined the band at St Mary that year, and taught many recruits, including his son Andrew, daughter Christine, and grand-daughters Kayley and Holli to ring.

Mick’s other main interest was singing, and he was a founder member of Werrington Village Choir, acting as treasurer for many years. At St Mary’s church he was with Joan a leading member who could always be relied on to help with events such as a regular paper collection to raise funds. In the Peterborough branch he held most offices at some time including Ringing Master of the old Peterborough branch and the enlarged branch when it merged with the Oundle branch in 1975. His longest term was as Secretary and Treasurer from 1981 to 1990. After a short ‘retirement’ he became assistant Ringing Master this January.

Mick was not a prolific peal ringer, ringing 12 peals in all. These included the last on the old six at St Mary (now at Pimlico) and the first on the new eight. He preferred quarter peals of which he rang 336, and outings (particularly new towers). His tower total was 1624, many on week tours to the south and west. The church was full of ringers and friends and relatives on Thursday June 19th to say farewell to a loyal servant of the church and of ringing. He will be missed greatly in the area for his love of life, food and friendship and contribution to the exercise.

D. J. JONES

Rushton, Northants. 3 July, 1320 St Clements Bob Minor: Norma Phillips 1, Lucy Burgess (1st inside) 2, Sue Parker 3, Sue Jones 4, Derek Jones 5, Andrew Parker (C) 6. Rung in memory of Mick Parker

Peterborough, Cambs (St Mary). 28 June, 1280 Spliced Plain and Little Bob Major: Christine Posnett 1, Sue Parker 2, Geoff Davis 3, Joan Parker 4, Andrew Christie 5, Diana Street 6, John Roffe 7, Andrew Parker (C) 8. Rung as a thanksgiving for the life of Mick Parker by family and friends. 

Published in RW p860, Aug 22, 1997  


Denis Pearson

5.10.1940 - 7.9.2013


Click here for obituary published in The Ringing World






Everard Slade Powell

28.11.1875 – 28.9.1947

The death of the Revd E S Powell has removed from the Exercise one whose contributions to the art of ringing have been considerable, both in the theoretical and practical fields.  At the time he was completing his education at Oxford at the turn of the century, E. S. Powell had not taken up ringing, nor did he do so until several years later. It appeared that mathematics was his strong point, for he was a scholar of Christ Church and later achieved a first class in Maths. Mods, and in his Final Schools.  However, he desired to enter the Church and after taking Holv Orders, he was appointed curate of Esher in 1899.  

In 1903 he was appointed curate of St. Thomas’, Exeter, and it was here that he became attracted to ringing and learned to handle a bell.  His next move was to Holbeton, Devon, where he became Vicar from 1906-1926.  During this time his interest and ability in all that pertains to ringing were developing and maturing, and it is not surprising to see him becoming General Secretary of the Devon Guild (1913-1924) and its President (1924-1935).  During the last few years of this Presidency he held the Rectory of Clyst St. George (1928-1935) and he was always very proud of being Rector of the church which had previously been in the charge of H T Ellacombe.  

It is by his work on the Methods Committee of the Central Council that he will perhaps be best remembered.  He had begun to represent the Devon Guild on the Central Council in 1914 and in 1927 he was elected to the Methods Committee.  Here with two others whose names are famous in the Exercise, H Law James and J Armiger Trollope, he was jointly responsible for the compilation of the Central Council’s “Collection of Doubles and Minor Methods”.  Later the committee issued a similar work - the “Collection of Triples Methods” - and a notable contribution to this publication was E S Powell’s work on Erin Triples.   

In 1928 he married Miss Molly Davenport of Sheffield, who was also a ringer, and for many years, in fact up to the time of his death, they were to have the great pleasure of sharing and actively pursuing a common interest.  In 1932, taking the view that no up-to-date book existed by means of which newcomers to ringing might be introduced to the four standard methods, they undertook the joint authorship of “The Ringer’s Handbook”, which remains in print for beginners.  In 1933 Revd E S Powell relinquished his residence in, but not his affection for, Devon, when the Dean of Christ Church offered him the living of Staverton, Northamptonshire, which he held till his retirement in 1946.  

His ability made itself as apparent in Northamptonshire as in Devon and in 1935 he became Master of the Peterborough Diocesan Guild and remained so for 12 years. A visit to one of his practice nights, or better still, membership of one of his bands, would engender much admiration for his qualities as a teacher.  He had all the attributes which make for success in such a sphere, namely, a thorough knowledge of ringing, immense patience with a beginner, a notable sense of humour, an ability to impart knowledge and an insistence on good discipline while his personal example as a ringer could hardly be bettered.  

Needless to say, it would, never have done for the bells of the churches in his charge to be unsuitable for good ringing, and he was instrumental in securing the rehanging of the bells at Holbeton and Staverton.  

He was not, in his own words, a prolific peal ringer, as he cared more for teaching, and strangely enough he kept no records of his peals, but it is estimated that he rang between three and four hundred; of these he conducted a good many.  He was an able conductor, possessing to a high degree the attribute of knowing everyone else’s work as well as his own, and thus being able to correct trips quickly and confidently.  The peal of which perhaps he had the happiest memories was one of Grandsire Cinques rung entirely by Devon men at Exeter Cathedral on January 6, 1926, and composed and conducted by himself.  The time was 3 hours and 55 minutes, and the peal proceeded with scarcely a trip and felt most comfortable.  

At the beginning of 1947 he retired from active work and went to live in Somerset.

At the Guild Annual Meeting held in Northampton on Whit Monday, after the service in St. Giles’ Church, a company of 103 sat down to tea. The President (the Archdeacon of Northampton), in a very appropriate speech, made a presentation to the retiring Master as a mark of appreciation of the great work he had done during the 12 years he held the office. The presentation took the form of an illuminated address framed in old oak, expressing appreciation of his efforts and good wishes to him and Mrs. Powell on retirement. It was accompanied by a roll of notes.

On June 21, a party from the Daventry Branch journeyed to Somerset to visit the Revd and Mrs Powell at their new home at East Stoke Lodge, Stoke-under-Ham.  An early start was made, with members endeavouring to ring handbells through courses of Grandsire Triples, Plain Bob Minor, Grandsire and Stedman Doubles.  After partaking of lunch in Bath they continued to Queen Camel, where they were met by the Revd and Mrs Powell, who had arranged for them to ring the heavy ring of six.

At East Stoke Lodge, where light refreshments were generously provided, a cheque and autograph album were presented to the Revd and Mrs Powell from branch members as a mark of appreciation of their work in the branch during their 13 years at Staverton.  After ringing at Stoke, Martock and tea in the village hall and thanks accorded to everyone who had helped to make the tour so successful, a start for home was made at 7 p.m.

Revd Powell was visiting Sheffield and was ringing for evensong on September 28 in Sheffield Cathedral when he gave up his bell and a few minutes later died peacefully.  

The funeral service took place at Stoke-under-Ham, Somerset, on October 2.  The service was conducted by Preb E V Cox, the Revd A T Stevens (Shepton Beauchamp) and the Revd D Ballard (Stoke-under-Ham).  The coffin was borne to the grave by six ringers.  The bells were rung half-muffled before the service by the local ringers and open after the service. Among the many beautiful floral tributes were wreaths from this Guild.

Compiled from: Presentation RW 1947 p292; DB outing RW 1947 p327; Sudden death RW 1947 p475; Funeral  RW 1947 p513; Obituary by DCB in RW 1947 p622Gravestone  https://billiongraves.com/grave/EVERARD-SLADE-POWELL-MA/11726018



Paul Reading

26.10.1947 - 8.9.2010



Click here for obituary published in The Ringing World

Click here for ringing for Paul

Click here for some of the peals and quarter peals that Paul rang




Stanley M Ruddlesden

29.9.1922 - 19.3.2018

Stan was born in 1922 and brought up in Newnham, near Daventry. He attended the local village school and then Daventry Grammar School, where his love of sport, particularly cricket and Rugby was first encouraged. He enjoyed being a member of a team, and he was always keen to try new activities so it is no surprise that he decided to learn to ring.

His childhood home would have been within the sound of the bells at Newnham Church but the local ringers there were not inclined to welcome the lads of the village, so Stan and his friends cycled to nearby Staverton, where they had heard they could learn to ring with the Revd Powell and his wife Molly. Stan often spoke of those times and he had the highest possible regard for both of them, both as kindly instructors and friends. He learned to handle a bell and the rudiments of change ringing under their tuition but then war broke out, and there followed a natural break in his ringing for about 6 or 7 years..

After completing teacher training at City of Leeds college (evacuated to Scarborough) he then joined the Royal Navy, spending much of his National Service in the Mediterranean off the coast of Italy. Stan was full of stories about the war. He obviously took full advantage of the travel and widening of horizons, though obviously there were some dramas and hair-raising experiences. His 'Uncle Albert' style of reportage about the Navy was a source of amusement to our family, but looking through old photographs, it is clear to see how much his time in the Navy had meant to him as a young man.

On returning from National Service, Stan took a teaching job in Northampton at Vernon Terrace School and lodged during the week in the town. He soon found some ringing and ringers who were keen to progress and it was not long before he scored his first peal at Whilton in December 1946, ringing the treble to Plain Bob Minor, conducted by Bill Hammons.

Stan's involvement with local sporting activity meant that Saturdays and Sundays were largely  taken care of – cricket during the Summer and rugby in the winter but he maintained his interest in ringing at a local and fairly modest level. After he was married in 1949 to Hilda, he moved to Badby and the demands of his job, the travel to and from work and family life became the major preoccupation. 

The family moved to Kingsthorpe, in Northampton, in 1956. The garden at the new house  needed hours of labour to reclaim it from a building site but it was within earshot of the bells of St John the Baptist church. Hilda suggested he took a break from his gardening and persuaded him to go down to the church and join them – and from then he was hooked! The ringers there greeted him warmly and he soon became a member of the band, which was, at that time, the place to go for minor ringing in the town and the standard of striking there was high.

It was during the time at Kingsthorpe that Stan taught me, his eldest daughter, to ring, November 1962 to be precise. The bells at Kingsthorpe were not an easy proposition and Stan soon became the taxi driver (and mentor) to a very keen learner. He was badgered into visiting as many ringing practices as was possible during the week and some Saturdays when he wasn't playing rugby. He became very active and well-known in the area, becoming Northampton Branch ringing master, and he starting ringing peals in earnest, with Barrie Hendry and Graham and Alan Paul. Ringing was now overtaking the sports – well, he was now over 40!

Stan and Hilda were great lovers of the countryside – never 'townies' - and it was almost inevitable that the family would move back to South Northamptonshire. Stan started to apply for headships in the county and, after a few near misses, he became the Headteacher at Culworth. At his interview he told the Chair of Governors,also the rector of the parish, that he and his daughter were keen bellringers, thinking this would be a strong point in his favour. “Don't worry - we already have our band of ringers here, thank you” he was told. But Stan dutifully joined in, tentatively and diplomatically feeling his way into a very different style of band. It was an ageing group so, in time, Stan set about teaching some youngsters from the village and anyone else who showed an interest. The numbers that went 'through the books' were countless but the bells rang almost every Sunday, morning and evening, all the while the family lived there, with Stan carefully managing the the different personalities.  [He was the Secretary of the Culworth Branch of the Guild until 1980.]

It was fortunate for the advancement of his own ringing that the newly augmented ring of 10 at Daventry were only 12 miles away, where Pat Chapman ran a very good practice and was an affable and patient ringing master. Stan had moved on from being a competent minor and doubles ringer to ringing surprise major but now he was able to add royal to his repertoire. At roughly the same time, a telephone was installed at School House and the diary began to fill with many peal opportunities from many different organisers and in many diverse locations. The Daventry connection remained strong, however – he rang 165 peals there, standing in many 'first in method'. He was often seen with a scruffy piece of paper containing a new line to be learnt, accompanied by a worried expression!

After Hilda had a severe stroke in 1982, Stan decided to retire. The School House came with the job so a new location was sought and Long Buckby was chosen for a number of practical  reasons. When in 1987 Stan became a widower, it proved to be a friendly community with all the amenities close at hand and good communications – near to the motorway and train station for visiting family and friends. And he somehow managed to become tower Captain at St Lawrence church, even though there was not a regular band. There then followed more teaching and a whole new group of loyal Sunday service ringers who all became actively involved with the Millennium project to augment the bells to 8. Stan was delighted to provide the 3rd bell in memory of Hilda.

Stan rang a total of 1006 peals, over a period of 61 years - a leisurely pace by today's standards but all carefully recorded with a sense of pride and achievement. He had a loyal group around him to 'finish the job' – he was getting very close to 1000 but finding each one more challenging as his health began to deteriorate – and he was so grateful to Andrew and Julie Haseldine, Chris and Ruth Stokes and Ray Vickers for helping him achieve his goal. He retired from peal ringing in October 2007 but still continued to ring locally for about another 5 years. It was the company that he enjoyed and he always maintained his love of 'a pint or two' after practice, along with stories and social chat.

Stan was a lifelong member of the Peterborough DG, becoming an Honorary member in 1983 for services to the Guild. He joined the College Youths in 1982 and was immensely proud of his membership. But a good proportion of his ringing, certainly since 1974, was with the South Northamptonshire Society, which provided peals, outings, holidays and companionship for over 40 years.

We have, as a family, received many tributes from ringers. All speak of his good nature, his kindness and patience with learners, his ability to fit in and a general desire to help. He contributed to ringing in so many different ways, always modest and unassuming, but with a wealth of experience which he loved to share with others. He was remembered with affection in a packed church at Long Buckby on July 11, 2018. 

Shirley McGill 

Click here and here for quarter peals and peals rung in memory of Stan.


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Page last updated: 1/8/2020
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