|Maurice Beazer died 2009 Wapley|
|James Anthony Bennett, born 6th October 1937 - 28 January 2009 Tytherington|
|George Blagg 1922 - 2002 Coalpit Heath|
Anne Catherine Cunliffe 1955 - 2003
Herbert Thomas Ferris (Bert) Westerleigh
Andrew (Andy) Fox 1948 - 2007
Christoper King Gallop 1943 - 2015
Frederick George Gillett 1933 - 2006
Albert Gough (Bert) Wapley
Marjorie Audrey Graupner (Mags) 2018 Almondsbury
|Arthur E Herbert 1927 - 2009 Almondsbury and Farcited|
|Denis Arthur Jones 1924 - 2004 Frampton|
|Andy Kane 1989 - 2006 Thornbury|
|Rita Margaret Lampard 1938 -2014 Warmley|
|William (Bill) Lampard 1931 - 2010 Warmley|
|Phillis B G Livsey 1924 - 2002 Alveston|
George Lawrence 1927 -
Sue Anna Elizabeth Liebow 1956 - 2015 Abson
Anne Massey, 1936 - 2015 Winterbourne
Edward G Mould 1941 - 19/03/2016
|David Perrett 8th April 1923 - 13th July 2013 Bitton|
George Robbins 9th May 1922 - 19th January 2013
Margaret Scudamore 2019 Coalpit Heath
|William Frederick Scudamore 1927 - 2010 Coalpit Heath|
|Gerald Walter Daniel Smart 1908 - 2006 Coalpit Heath|
T. Walters of Coalpit Heath 1929 – 2009
Rev John Shepheard-Walwyn 18/10/1916 - 12/12/2015
|Ken Weeks 1939 - 2004 Syston|
Robert A Williams 1924 - 2002
Valerie Woodman (Val) 2019 Almondsbury
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Albert Gough (Bert) Wapley Waiting Obituary
Valerie J Woodman 1938 - 23rd July 2019 Almondsbury
Val learnt to ring at Almondsbury when young but then gave up the exercise for some years. When she
restarted she was proud to ring for weddings especially when one or both of the couple was a villager.
Determined to prove she could do so, she rang a quarter peal in June 1998. After her return she was a faithful
supporter of the tower for many years, always arriving with a smile and never grumbling. She only stopped
when a breathing problem made it impossible for her to climb the many stairs to the ringing chamber.
Anne Massey, Winterbourne, South Gloucestershire 1936 - 2016
Anne Massey learnt to ring following her retirement in the mid 90’s. She was not a prolific ringer but was a committed and regular member of the Winterbourne band, always present for service ringing and for weddings. Anne rang at Frenchay for practices and also at a few other towers. She was taken ill and died on 18th May, whilst away on holiday in Cornwall. Anne’s commitment to Winterbourne bells and many other aspects of Church life in Winterbourne will be greatly missed.
John Shepheard-Walwyn 18th October 1916 - 12th
John was born in Yorkshire in October 1916. He grew up near Bath as his father had a parish near there. At the age of 8 he fell off some wallbars in the gym which caused a detached retina. Repair of detached retina was in its infancy at the time and, despite being in the care of a leading surgeon in Lucerne, he was blind by the time he was 12 years old.
John’s ringing career started whilst he was at Oxford University. He was persuaded to ring by his good friend Gerry Bromley who was also blind and had started at Oxford a year earlier and had already learned to ring. He took any opportunity he could to ring, not allowing his blindness to deter him from accessing a ringing chamber, it being no deterrent to him that the access might be up a wall mounted ladder encased in a safety collar or a series of walkways across a church or cathedral roof.
After Oxford he went to Wells Theological College and was ordained at Rochester Cathedral in 1940 and ordained priest in 1943. In 1944 he became curate at Holy Redeemer Lamerbey, Sidcup. There he met Anne Gillespie, who was the parish worker, and they married in 1949. From there they moved to Edenbridge, where John continued to ring on practice nights. He was delighted in 1976 to be asked to take part in the service for the re-dedication of the bells. His move to Rosherville in 1956 meant that ringing took a lesser place in his life, as the church had no bells. In 1961 the family moved to a rural parish in North Devon, Westleigh with Horwood. St Peter’s Church, Westleigh had a 12 cwt ring of 6 and John established a change ringing band here, despite comments from one or two former ringers who didn’t think much of that “scientific ringing”. He had a ready made source of recruits in his seven children, all of whom he taught to ring. His enthusiasm rubbed off to varying degrees on his children. Two have continued as active members of their respective local bands and others dip in and out of ringing. In his last parish, Harberton with Harbertonford, he was involved in the restoration of the bells, another 6 bell tower. The restoration was completed just before he retired.
John joined the Cumberland Youths in September 1960 and in 1964 he became a member of Guild of Clerical Ringers. The Low Week ringing tours were a fixture in his calendar for many years. He was very proud when he was made an honorary life member of the guild. His last tour was in 2008 when he was 91, a year before he emigrated to New Zealand to live with his youngest daughter.
When he retired John and Anne moved to Bristol and he rang at Frampton Cotterell. He also became a member of the FarCited group, who met midweek to ring at towers in the Bristol area.
Throughout his ringing career he was recognised by anyone who rang with him as being an excellent striker. When visiting a new tower at the age of 91 a local ringer commented that he was a better striker than anyone else there.
In 2011 John visited Wellington Cathedral on a practice night, and although by then he was no longer able to ring, and had not rung for over 3 years he was delighted that he had been able to follow the 2nd through a touch of Cambridge Major.
Lois Kelly (Daughter)
King Gallop 10th February 1943 - 13th April 2015
Chris lived in Bitton all his life and
started ringing at about the age of 8, following in the footsteps of various
members of the Gallop family.
He became Tower Captain probably in the late sixties and taught many to ring along with me and John Leighfield. Although I took over from Chris he continued to ring from time to time and last rang on Easter Sunday the week before he died. We had great respect for each other and shared a joke about him shrinking in old age and having to stand on a box.
Marlene, Andrew and Ian (wife & sons) received lovely tributes from a number of Bitton ringers commenting on how learning to ring had helped them to make friends locally and elsewhere in the country and world. A great way to socialise and learn a skill which is like riding a bike, never forgotton. Chris made Bitton Tower a fun place to be, like a youth club in the early seventies, with many social outings from mystery trips on the train to places like Broadstairs or Rhyl and meals out to Rode on New Years Eve, for which works paid 6d or non workers 3d (pre decimalisation)
Chris died of a heart attack after returning home from practising with his jazz band, which unfortunately clashed on a Monday night with ringing.
I will miss Chris greatly but thank him for teaching me to ring.
Perrett 8th April 1923 - 13th July 2013
A member of Bitton Tower, Rural Branch and a long serving member of the Farcited group
when he was well, passed away at the age of 90 on the 13th of July.
David Robert Perrett – otherwise known as DRP passed away in July after a long illness. David was born in Bitton at the Meadows Farm on the 8th April 1923. His parents, Stanley and Dorothy were dairy farmers and his grandfather owned the Springfield brewery at Upton Cheyney.
He attended Bitton School and Bristol Grammar School and studied at the Royal Veterinary College qualifying as a vet on 4th July 1944. He then joined Perrys practice at Staple Hill where he became a Partner then Senior Partner remaining there until he retired in 1988. David had a well known love of pigs and although he generally worked with farm animals he was often locally considered the Bitton villagers’ own personal “small pet vet”.
David married Maureen in 1954 and they had three daughters, Anne, Sarah and Ruth. It was his daughters who introduced David to ringing because they had all been ringers in Bitton since they were teenagers. Having said that, David’s father, Stanley had also been a Bitton bellringer and David felt he should fill in the generation gap! So, once he retired he took up bellringing, among many other things.
As well as ringing regularly in Bitton he became an original member of the Farcited band and he joined the magistrate’s bellringing association (being a magistrate and later Chairman of the Bench at Staple Hill and Yate). He also rang with the Perrett Family Association and apparently when out ringing with any of these groups he often met farmers who also rang, so the different parts of his life often overlapped through bellringing.
At Bitton the records show David rang 6 quarter peals, his first in 1992 and his last in 2003 to celebrate his 80th birthday. Most of these quarters he rang with at least one of his daughters, some with all three, and even one quarter with his grand-daughter, Rachael.
Not content with just ringing the bells, David became involved with maintenance and together with Tony Smale they completely repainted the bell frame at Bitton. He was also the G&B branch MC Rep for three years from 1996-1999. Of course, he also threw himself into the socialising associated with ringing (even after he couldn’t ring due to problems with his hands and heart), and was one of the Bitton band with an April birthday. Many quarters are rung in honour of this birthday month in Bitton, and birthday cakes are often produced for consumption at the pub after practice. Long may this tradition continue - and always remember David too!
Many people have described David as a gentleman. Many people have mentioned his wonderful sense of humour and the tales he could tell. Quite a few mention the fact that time spent in his company was often over a pint of beer. He was very much a local community person and had the wonderful ability to get on with all walks of life and generations.
He always referred to himself as a simple Cow doctor. We know that he was far more than that - a fine vet, a wonderful family man, a loyal friend and colleague, a huge part of the local community – and of course, a bellringer!
Ruth Ogilvie (Nee Perrett)
Arthur George Robbins 9th May 1922 - 19th January 2013
Died aged 90 an Olveston Ringer for over 40 years.
Arthur was born on 9TH May 1922 at Tockington,
He was a lorry driver/ concrete despatcher at the local quarry of Olveston until his retirement in 1976. He married June Fowler of Tytherington on 22nd September 1956 at St James Church, Tytherington and made their home at Woodview, Olveston.
Arthur started to ring the bells shortly after his marriage after gentle persuasion from his wife June, who was a bell ringer from Tytherington. Percy Parker the tower Captain at that time, taught Arthur to ring the bells. Arthur became Captain at Olveston in 1966 and maintained the bells and wound the clock up to 2005. Up to the last two years of his life Arthur’s visits to bell ringing became less frequent and died very peacefully on 19th January 2013. He was very passionate with regard to Sunday service ringing and apart from the annual holiday or illness, he would not miss Sunday ringing or attending Evensong.
After a packed funeral service earlier in the day, a quarter peal half muffled of 1260 changes of Grandsire Triples was rung in Arthur’s honour.
June Robbins and Philip Coward
Margaret Scudamore 2019 Coalpit Heath Waiting Obituary
Fred Scudamore of Coalpit Heath died on Christmas Day 2010. He was born in 1927
Fred was born in 1927 in Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire. He spent all his early days in Llandeilo until he was called up for National Service in 1945 when he joined the RAF. During his National Service, Fred was posted to the RAF station at Pucklechurch and whilst there in 1947 he met Margaret whom he was later to marry at Mangotsfield in 1950 and then to have two children Jane and Keith.
Fred was demobbed from the RAF in 1948 and subsequently joined the Gloucestershire Police Force and over the years was stationed at Coleford, Staple Hill, Winterbourne, Woolaston, Cirencester, back to Staple Hill and finally at Bridewell in Bristol. Fred retired from the Police Force , as a Police Inspector, in 1977 and then worked in the retail trade with Littlewoods and Dorothy Perkins as a security advisor until full retirement in 1992.
There were two main interests in Fred’s life, bell ringing and Freemasonry.
Firstly bell ringing. Fred started bell ringing in 1943 at Llandeilo when the ringing of bells during World War 2 was lifted. Over his working life, depending where he was based, he rang at Mangotsfield, Winterbourne, Lydney, Cirencester and finally Coalpit Heath where he rang for 42 years.
During the early 1970’s Fred was the driving force to get the bells at Coalpit Heath increased from 6 to 8. This project was achieved in 1975 to give this church a fine peal of 8 bells.
Fred held numerous posts within the Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association of Bell Ringers. Three high profile post being Life Vice President to which he was elected in 1953, Honorary Secretary from 1956 to 1958 and Ringing Master from 1966 to 1971. It was during his time as Ringing Master that Fred got the 6-bell striking competition started. The competition needed a trophy so Fred approached the Diocesan Board of Finance for help, this led to a silver bell trophy being financed from the bequest of W I Croome. Hence the name of the competition became known as the Croome Trophy. The first competition taking place at North Cerney in 1968, the church where W I Croome worshipped for many years.
Fred was the second generation of ringers in the Scudamore family. He taught his children, Jane and Keith, to ring and then helped his grandchildren, Samantha, Kristian and Russell to ring. There have now been four generations to ring within the family.
Fred did not keep records of his peals but his last peal was on his 75th birthday in 2002 where he was very pleased to ring in the first peal of his eldest grandson Kristian, giving a three generation peal within the Scudamore family for the second time, the first being in 1966 when he rang with his father Ralph and son Keith. His last peal was no mean achievement for him as he was starting to having problems with his legs and standing for any length of time. He was glad to have completed it and rung a peal with his grandson.
As a Policeman and bell ringer Fred joined the National Guild of Police Ringers. Again he held high profile posts within this guild. Being President from 1973 to 1976 and also a Life Vice President.
Fred’s second interest was that of being a member of the Freemasons. Whilst a Policeman he joined the bell ringers lodge, Clavis, and became Worshipful Master for the year 1992. When Fred took full retirement he also joined the local Lodge, Lyegrove, at Chipping Sodbury. Again he held the post of Worshipful Master at Lygrove for the year 1995.
Fred had many friends around the country and will be missed by them. Most of all he will be missed by his wife Margaret, children Jane and Keith and also his grandchildren Samantha, Kristian and Russell.
T. Walters of Coalpit Heath 1929 – 2009
Thomas Walters (Tom), died from the effects of a long period of poor health, he had been resident at the Penworth Lodge medical home, following the death of his wife Joan.
Tom was well known in the South Gloucestershire (Bristol Rural) area, regarded as a thoroughly helpful person with numerous interests. He was during his working life an aeronautical flight and electronic control engineer. Unfortunately information on these subjects was very limited, due to his involvement with the Ministry of Defence, we are aware of his involvement in the design of flight controls for the Concord built at Filton.
Tom was born at Iron Acton, in Gloucestershire as it was then, with an education at Rendcomb college near Cirencester in the late Forties. Whilst at college he became interested in bell ringing – which became his leisure activity. He became proficient in ringing with a good standard of bell control and method ringing (5 bell). During his long association with ringing he was most active in local towers and bell maintenance, there are stories of Tom and his contemporises removing bells from towers (officially) and transporting them around Gloucestershire, you should hear his contemporaries when they are together relating those stories. His other life long interest was horology, and he maintained and serviced Frampton Cottrell's church clock for many years.
He served his national service in the army, engaged in the electronics of army equipment. On leaving the services Tom joined the Bristol Aircraft Company at Filton. He was employed in the use of electronics in the flight control of both manned and unmanned flying objects.
His Sunday ringing interests were firstly at Winterbourne and then at Frampton Cotterell following the rehang of the bells in 1962. After his stroke he lost the main use of his left hand side, arm and leg, and was then unable to then climb the stairs at Frampton, he made a very courageous partial recovery when many of his friends spent time with him ringing hand-bells.
Tom was determined to return to his activities and with the help of his wife he was able to use a disabled person’s tricycle for journeys around the villages of Coalpit Heath and Frampton Cotterell.
The next challenge for Tom was to ring again; Coalpit Heath was his nearest tower and also had a ground floor ring so he could get there on his tricycle. Firstly the ringers had to curb Tom’s enthusiasm, it far out-weighed his abilities in the early practice sessions.
The ringers succeeded so well that Tom was able to ring single handed as long as he did not have to stand for too long, he was able to cycle to church on Sunday mornings and ring for service again.
Tom Walters’s funeral took place at St Saviours Coalpit Heath Parish Church with open ringing of Grandsire triples to mark the occasion. Ringers from South Gloucestershire ringing the bells, the church was full for the service with his many friends and acquaintances from over the years.
Tom will be missed and is missed; he was a good servant to the branch and the art of bell ringing.
May peace be with him in his new place of rest?
Fred Scudamore and Tony York
Tom we are told made the Bristol Rural Branch Chairman's Gavel which, as you can see, is a clapper and two bells as the anvils.
James Anthony Bennett, born 6th October 1937 - 28 January 2009.
Tony, at the age of three was evacuated with his mother to Elm Tree Farm, Tortworth, Glos and it was at St Leonard’s church, whilst attending services, and he first heard the sound of a church organ. This was the beginning of a life long love of classical music and his love of organs.
As bombing ceased in the war, Tony and his mother moved back to Swansea, where he learnt to handle a bell aged 10 at Sketty.
The family then moved to Bristol where his father took up the appointment as the city engineer.
After the war Tony went to a prep school and the Clifton College, and only took up ringing again, when he went to Bristol University to study medicine in 1956. He lived in Stoke Bishop but rang at Henbury and Westbury-on-Trym as well, as with the UBSCR at St Michael's Bristol.
Most of the readers of this journal will not have heard of Tony Bennett – this is because the bulk of his ringing was done during the late 1950’s and 1960’s. Tony’s first quarter peal was Bob Minor for Easter 1958. His first quarter as conductor was Grandsire Triples at Henbury in May 1958. Thereafter he rang with the UBSCR and he became the chief conductor of the monthly quarter peals at Henbury.
Tony rang his first peal, out of a total of approximately fifteen, which was Grandsire Triples at Henbury in Jan 1958 (conducted by Philip Gray). This was rung less than 2 years after he had started change ringing (in Sept 1956). He arranged many ringing outings for the Henbury ringers in the early 1960s and also some ringing weeks. A particularly strenuous one involved only 8 ringers, lasted 4 days, and rang at some of the heaviest rings of bells in Dorset! Transport was by minibus driven by Tony.
Tony was, indirectly the instigator of another type of ringing tour which became enormously popular. Following his final exams in 1962, he and another Old Cliftonian medical student took a week’s holiday by canal barge. He wrote a hilarious account of his trip in a letter to a friend who was then living in Brighton, and the letter concluded with the remark ‘A ringing tour by barge might be an attractive possibility’. The friend liked the idea, and, with the help of a fellow Sussex ringer, Tony planned the very first ever ringing tour by barge in 1963. This led to at least 3 members of that first tour developing a lifelong interest in canal barges, and, to many other ringing groups and societies arranging barge tours over the years that followed.
After qualifying as a doctor in 1962, his life was much like that of all junior housemen at the time, with long working hours and little time for ringing. He worked at Greenbank Hospital, Plymouth and the at Ham Green hospital near Bristol where he developed an interest in Lung function and produced an apparatus to measure lung function in patients. His interest in this led to his lifelong career in Anaesthesia and he went to the University of Liverpool to study under Professor Gray. He did find time to join the Liverpool University Society and rang at St Francis Xavier, church there.
Continue obituary click here
Maurice Beazer died 2009ringer at Wapley.
Trying to obtain an obituary
Andy died in Frenchay on Tuesday the 14th of June 2007, he had not been really well for a couple
of years, after He had his knee operated on he expected to be full of the joys of spring but unfortunately his health determinate.
His funeral took place at Westerleigh on the 21st of May with muffled ringing by his many bellringing friends.
The church was packed with standing room only, below is the synopsis of Andy's life that his brother Tim gave during the service. (I have edited this input webmaster)
Andy was always a church member and he and I spent a lot of time in Westerleigh church.
We came to Sunday school together, took confirmation classes and sang in the choir, needless to say Andy did not have a wonderful singing voice, but it was better than mine.
Andy and I went to the village primary school as Pete our elder brother had done, our younger sister Pauline also followed the same route, but sadly is no longer with us, I enjoyed school but Andy hated it.
He would have been the first to agree that he was not the greatest academic in the world, but he had a great talent for numbers and could tell where each car had been registered, he always remembered family birthdays and anniversaries.
When Andy left school he went to work at Barley Close Farm for Harold Shiles.
He the spent many years working at Nichols Cow Mills with two local ringers John and George Lawrence,
he also kept in touch the many friends he made whilst working there.
When a local friend Geoff Younger started his Talau adventure Andy joined him to work in the warehouse, Andy made friends and Geoff found him totally reliable as a worker.
Andy was not a great lover of sport but he did spend many years doing long bike rides with his friend Bob Facey, and took part in a charity ride in France.
His main loves in life was his bell ringing and had been a ringer for 46 years, his home towers were Wapley and Westerleigh, he was a member of the Rural Branch and attended most branch events and outings before he became ill. He also attended on occasions the Farcited group events especially the annual Christmas outing. He was also a member of the Moonrakers and had been on the last two years tours to Essex and East Yorkshire, his highlight on last years tour was ringing at York Minster, however this was his last Moonraker tower as he was taken ill the following day. He was a member of the Buffs and he enjoyed having a few pints in the Old Inn Westerleigh with his friends. Andy had many other activities, he was always ready to help out, he helped with the Wapley flower festival, he collected until his illness for the annual poppy collection, and gave blood for over 40 years.
Andy was kind, generous and outgoing.
He would not want us to mourn but to celebrate his life.
He will be sadly missed by all his friends and especially his family.
Revelations 21 & 22
When we leave this earth, the love that we've given and received remains behind to light the lives of those we touched.
Many thanks to Tim Fox for the input I have used to produce Andy's obituary.
Next obituary click here
Gerald Walter Daniel Smart 1908 -2006
Smart of Coalpit Heath died in 2006. He was born in 1908.
Gerald was born in Coalpit Heath village in April 1908, and had a lifelong connection with St Saviours Parish Church as a choir member – Cross Bearer – and Bell Ringer. A life-time service to the ‘Church’ of 89 years. One of his proudest moments was being awarded the ‘Queen’s Maunday Money’ for services to both church and community in April 1989.
Gerald left school at the age of 14 years, entering the coal industry at the local collieries. During the war years he served in the fire service with his duties in the Bristol City area. following the closure of the local collieries he joined the Local Authority School Meals Service.
Gerald was one of the original ringers at St Saviours in the early 1920’s when there was a peal of four (4) bells. He became a good six bell ringer taking part in a number of peals up to Surprise Minor. In 1975 the bells were augmented to eight, this caused Gerald problems, and he found great difficulty in moving into eight bell ringing. Gerald was a member of the G & B from 1952 – 1976.
His main interest then turned to singing and he joined the Frampton Male voice choir, although he did ring when their were not sufficient numbers to ring for Sunday service. In recent years he attended the Farcited midweek group for some of the monthly outings. He carried out his choir duties to within weeks of his death. Gerald hoped to live to reach a 100 years, but this sadly was not to be.
The funeral service was well attended by the local community. The bells were rung ‘open’ by Rural Branch members and local ringers, before and after the service.
Gerald was buried within the hearing of the tower –
Well done thou good Servant.
1939 - 2004
Kenneth George Weeks died on Saturday 7th August 2004, he was born on 9th June 1939Ken was born in Clifton Bristol and his early years were spent in Stapleton, from where his father a fireman mother moved to West Harptree. It is said that this move in his early life instilled in Ken his life long passion for fishing with the views over Chew Valley Lake.
Ken’s Mother and younger sister Janet now live in Castle Cary.
Ken’s early years were formed in the Chew Valley and he was apprenticed as a motor mechanic to Henley’s in Bristol and we are told he travelled daily to work on his motor bike. He later moved to Dunlop as a vehicle inspector where he worked for about thirty years, he also drove coaches for National Express and during this time other private coaches for outings for Kingswood Holy Trinity and Warmley churches. Many of our members will also remember him driving the coach for our branch outings and some of the escapades such as getting stuck in country lanes and heading for red traffic lights through the cones at a high rate of knots. Ken set up on his own in business in Warmley repairing and preparing vehicles for their MOT.
Warmley Practice and
August 1964 but sadly they split up some
25 years later.
It is said that the Warmley ringers were at their peak at that time under the tower captaincy of Tony Gibbs and consequently Ken as the only learner made rapid progress.
His first peal was at Warmley St Barnabas on Monday 9th April 1965 when he rang the third for Plain Bob Doubles. There were five first pealers in the band, and they were all Sunday service ringers. He also rang the tenor for the local band to ring a peal 118 doubles variations a year later.
Over the years Ken had an interest in many of the local towers perhaps the first involvement in a rehang would have been at Warmley when the Warmley six were replaced by eight from St George in east Bristol. This was carried out in 1976 by the bellhanger Arthur Fidler, aided by Tony Gibbs the tower captain and his Warmley team. Later Ken was instrumental in having Syston’s bells rehung and shortly after this Ken was made an Honorary Life Member of Bristol Rural Branch.
He also held various branch officer posts over the years which included one year as ringing Master, two sessions amounting to five years as chairman, and two sessions as MC rep amounting to seven years. Ken became a member of the Bath branch of the Bath and Wells Association in 2000 and held officer posts as Chairman, Ringing Master and bell maintenance contact up until his death. He was also instrumental in putting together a band at St Nicholas Kelston for the millennium ringing.
Ken had other interests including playing skittles, which he played on a regular basis and as we alluded to earlier, his life long interest in fishing on the Blagdon and Chew valley lakes, he spent a considerable amount of time right up until the last few weeks at the lakes. Ken died after a long illness which he fought very bravely and thought he had won, but unfortunately it returned.
We all have a lot to thank Ken for, his unbounded enthusiasm for ringing and all its subjects, the number of people he taught to ring over the years, which must go into dozens, most of them probably being younger ringers, the help and guidance he has given to all of us and the memories he has left with us for ever.
Ken leaves a daughter and two sons Kate, Andrew and Martyn.
I am sure the members of the two branches Bath and Bristol Rural will all offer their heartfelt sympathy to his family and friends in their sad loss?
Bristol Rural Branch Secretary
Anne Catherine Cunliffe 1955 - 2003
(nee Perrett, Freestone, Taysom)
Born April 1955 Died May 2003
Anne was born in Downend, Bristol
but brought up in Bitton where she attended The Gateway School, Clifton High
and Soundwell Technical College. Anne then went on to train as an
Occupational Therapist at St Loyes Exeter and spent all of her career in
Bristol Hospitals, most of the time at Frenchay where she was responsible
for managing a hand clinic until her forced early retirement at the age of
48 – cancer has no respect of age .
Anne was a good local ringer who dedicated her ringing career to St Mary’s, Bitton, for over 30 years and introduced her sisters Sarah and Ruth to ringing (and in later years her father on his retirement). As children it was a good youth club and even in later years it was still our youth club, even though we grew older together. On the arrival of both her girls Elizabeth and Rachael, Anne couldn’t stay away, it was her time out. In 1985 Anne together with her sister Sarah organised a trip to Woodstock where after 15 years of call changes Rounds, Cross, Queens, Whittington and Titums we were advised how to call changes correctly and to plain hunt. Since those days the Tower has never looked back, we are still not that good but better than we were! Our first striking competition was held at Bitton in 1988 where Anne and Sue shared the calling of the changes, Anne counted and Sue called, much to the amusement of the person sitting with us and everyone else when he told them. I remember going to Midsomer Norton with Anne, she was told she would be a good ringer if she practised more. You could imagine Anne's reply, with 2 small girls and a non ringing husband but the other ringers just didn’t understand.
On the wall are 4 pictures of Anne all with different surnames as pointed out by her sister Sarah. One of the first is as a ringer for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977 but since then Anne has rung over 14 quarters mainly at Bitton with a few at Abson, and was widely known within the branch and country due to her marriage to Henry Taysom.
Anne rang with both her daughters and was especially proud of her youngest, Rachael Freestone who rang her first Quarter to mark Anne’s father, David Perrett’s 80th birthday in April 2003. Although Anne was not well enough to ring for this occasion, she was honoured to have Rachael as her representative and listened from her bedroom window, as Rachael joined four other members of the family. Sadly Anne did not make her Mothers 80th Birthday in October but Rachael again rang a Quarter to mark the occasion and we are sure that Anne would have been pleased.
Anne was a great asset to our Tower and will be sadly missed. St Mary’s church was full to overflowing at her funeral and so many ‘youth club’ ringers were there, some came to ring for Anne that hadn’t rung for over 20 years and wouldn’t know what call changes were! Uncharacteristically the ringing at her funeral was perfect but the ringing down was something that would have made her smile, as Henry would of put it true ‘Bitton Syndrome’. The bells were half muffled before and after the service and she now lies within the sound of the bells no doubt making notes.
This year Bitton managed a quarter during quarter peal week and this Anne is dedicated to you.
George Blagg 1922 - 2002
St. James, Mangotsfield, has died in 2002. He was born in 1922
George was born in Gainsborough, Lincs. and came to live in Kingswood when he was 14 years of age. In 1949, George and Gwen were married and moved to Mangotsfield. George joined the ringing band at St. James then under the leadership of Mr. John Jefferies and in due course became the steeple keeper.
George was a man of many parts! Mainly he looked after the mechanism of the bells but he was also tower secretary, tower treasurer, ringing instructor and clock man. As clock man he had to ensure that the clock kept good time and this involved him going to the tower twice a week to wind up the heavy clock weights that came down from the ringing room to the ground floor of the porch. This he did until the early 1980’s when the PCC replaced the heavy winding gear with two electric motors.
In the 1980’s we began to experience problems with the bells and it became more and more difficult for George to combat the wear and tear that was slowly affecting the behaviour of the bells. However, he nursed the bells with loving care and affection until 1990 when the Diocesan Bell Advisor announced that ringing must cease and a refurbishment programme put into effect.
Maybe it was preparing the bells for removal culminating in stopping the clock that prompted George to declare that he was retiring from his duties in the tower. This was quite understandable since he had given more than 50 years service to the old bells and thought it was time to stand down. George continued to serve the church as a communicant and could be called upon to help with any task that required attention.
George and Gwen had three children, John, Richard and Grace, who were all taught to ring at St, James Church. Richard and his family are now registered ringers at Littledean, Glos, and John and Grace continue to ring elsewhere in the Country.