Farewell and Thank you to Tony Evans

Teachers and Pupils, past and present gathered after the normal session of Castor Ringing School on Saturday 19th November to say Thank You and Farewell to Tony Evans who is moving out of the area.

David Teall gave the following Tribute to Tony:

Ten days ago we received an email from Tony in which he said:  “I shall shortly be moving out of the area, within the next two to three weeks.  This means that I will no longer be able to organise and administer the Saturday morning training sessions [at Castor].”

This news came as a shock to us all and we have still to come to grips with how we will manage without his leadership and tireless support.  However, that is for the future.  Today we want to take time out to express to Tony our heart-felt thanks for all that he has done for the Ringing School and to wish him and Rosemary the very best for the future in their new home in Bourne.  Tony: we are relieved to discover that you are not moving a million miles away so we hope very much that we shall continue to see you from time to time.

Tony learnt to ring as a youngster in Sussex when the Tower Captain suggested it to him as an alternative to being in the choir.  Without wishing to cast judgement on his ability as a singer, we are delighted that he made the choice that he did.

When Tony left home he left ringing too but, thankfully for us, he took it up again in the early 90s here at Castor.  Since then he has been hugely influential in the development of bell ringing both here and in the Peterborough Branch, the Peterborough Guild and the wider National scene.  He spent six years as one of the Guild’s four representatives on the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers where he served on the Towers and Belfries Committee and, here in the Peterborough Branch, he served both as Chairman and Vice Chairman and, for 12 years, as Branch Steward.  In this latter position he masterminded the project to augment the six bells here to eight and supported the restoration of the rings at Barnack, Bulwick, Easton-on-the-Hill, Glinton, Ryhall, and Warmington with advice, encouragement and practical assistance.  His immense contribution was formally recognised by the Peterborough Diocesan Guild by his appointment as a Life Honorary Member in 2006.

Under Tony’s guidance as Tower Captain the tower here at Castor became a hub of activity as he took a personal lead in the training of a whole host of new recruits, many of whom are in this room today.  From this grew the idea of the Ringing School which was officially recognised by the Central Council as a National Ringing Centre in 2006 with Tony as Founder and Manager.  Since then over 100 pupils have passed through its doors to learn the art of change ringing; a living testament to Tony’s vision, dedication and hard work.

Tony, we are truly grateful for everything that you have done for ringing.  We thank you for your vision and generosity and want you to know that you will remain an inspiration to us all long after you have moved away.  We wish you and Rosemary the very best for the future and ask you to accept this gift as a token of our love and appreciation.