Peterborough, St Mary's News August 2013

A great deal has happened in and out of the tower at St Mary’s, which has kept us busy over the past few months. From a ringing perspective we have been ringing less quarter peals, however we do still ring quite a few as we find the more time spent ringing keeps us off the streets and out of trouble. In May we rang 3 quarters and a peal to celebrate our oldest honorary bellringer , Ossie Roberts’ 100th birthday. The peal of Yorkshire Surprise Major was Nick Elks’ first peal.

At the end of May and start of June we had our annual weekend and this year we were based in Hereford at the Green Dragon.  The 9 towers were organised for us by Vic and Dorothy Chamberlain formerly from Stamford but who now live in Stoke Prior. We had a very good weekend, good weather, good company some very nice and interesting bells in lovely countryside, including the new 8 at Yarkhill, birth place of Fabian Stedman.  We ended with coffee and cake at Vic and Dorothy’s home.

Later in June we had our annual outing to Tolethorpe where we picnicked and then saw Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors.  Again it was ably organised by Tony and as usual he got the weather right!

On July 17th we had the very sad news that Geoff Davis had died, very suddenly, from a heart attack.  He had been a ringer at St Mary’s since 1952 when he learnt to ring in the old church on the 6 bells with Gilbert Cowlin, Primrose Ridley, Bernard Branston, to name but a few.  He was born and died in the same house in Eastfield Grove.  He died on the 4th anniversary of his partner, Hazel Allen’s death.  Eight quarter peals have been rung at St Mary’s and surrounding towers to celebrate his life, and on 24th August a peal of Cambridge will be rung to mark his service to both St Mary’s and to ringing. The ringers will then adjourn to the Peterborough beer festival where Geoff was a regular visitor and keen promoter of Oakham Ales.  Geoff will be sadly missed for so many things, his love of life, his sense of humour, love of food and beer!

On a more cheerful note we have got 3 new learners who we hope will soon be able to join us for Sunday service ringing.

Joan Parker