I am saddened to publish these two obituaries this time. Jane Hammond's obituary will be published in the July issue. Our sincere condolences to their families
(30/2/1947 - 30/1/2013)
Arthur was never a member of the Guild, but there are few Guild members who had not come across him. He was one of our local bellhangers and had undertaken work of some sort in many towers in the area. He had a most disarming smile and a wonderfully easy attitude to people and to life.
He lived in Malvern. His workshop was next door to his house. Although originally born in Malvern his parents moved to Pershore when Arthur was small. When older he learnt to ring at Pershore Abbey and St Andrew's Church opposite, when the latter tower still contained 6 bells. He progressed well at ringing and soon became a competent ringer and conductor. His working life started as an apprentice with Pettifers, a local joinery business, at which he leant the woodworking skills for which he was soon to become well-known.
The rehanging of St Andrew's bells in 1972 gave Arthur a chance to experience at first hand his eventual occupation by helping Taylors' bellhanger. He found the work much to his liking and, when work at Pettifers looked unsure, he branched out on his own as a woodworker and bellhanger. He found the woodwork associated with bells easy to accomplish.
After his marriage he moved to 419 Pickersleigh Road, Malvern, and set up his business there, but regularly returned to Pershore and surrounding area.
Over the years he rehung many rings, from sixes to twelves, and even managed to rehang an anti-clockwise one (Stanton). Other bellhanging work included augmentations and work in 1 and 2-bell towers or spirelets. He had a long-standing business relationship with John Taylor & Co, and occasionally they would ask him to undertake work on their behalf.
Arthur was also well-known as an outstanding ringer, too. He was supremely steady and utterly reliable. He conducted many peals, again steadily and reliably. He also had a wonderful sense of fun. A few years ago Arthur asked me if he could have the little 10 at the Bell Tower for a peal of Grandsire Caters. He said he wanted to ring the extra treble, so he could 'circle the tower'. He also said he wanted to include Roger Savory in it. Arthur said Roger had composed a peal of Grandsire Caters many years previously and sent him a copy. He wanted to call the peal and then, when Roger asked who it was by, he wanted to say, 'It's yours! Didn't you recognise it?' Quite independently, Roger contacted me soon afterwards, also asking for a peal on the little 10, as he, too, wanted to complete the circle. A peal date was arranged and Roger and Arthur came to an agreement that Roger would ring the extra treble. On completion of the peal (it was an ASCY peal, rung in proper ASCY fashion) Roger looked up at Arthur and said the magic words, 'Hey Arthur, who was that one by, then?' I knew what was coming. Arthur said nothing, but, with a grin on his face, ambled over to his coat and took out an old and scruffy envelope, from which he extracted an almost-equally scruffy piece of paper. Still with a grin he ambled back to Roger and, offering him the piece of paper, said, 'It's yours! Didn't you know?' Hoots of laughter all round. Classic; and classically Arthur!
It may have been noticed that Arthur attended the Guild refounding meeting on March 30th 1973 (see copy of the Minutes of that meeting in the January Newsletter). As mentioned earlier, he never joined the Guild. When I found out he was there I asked why he'd come along, as he lived outside the area. He told me, with a twinkle in his eye, that he'd been a spy in the camp! Apparently the General Secretary of the Worcs & Dists CRA (Mr Martin D Fellows, lovingly referred to as The Fuerher), had asked him to attend and report back on what went on!
It is very difficult to understand how the mechanism for calling time on people works. Many lovely people seem to be taken away from us early and some of the 'less-lovely' seem to keep going on and on. Arthur was certainly in the former category, and his early death at two days off 67 deprived us of much he was still able to give this world. It was truly a pleasure to know him.
A number of peals and quarter peals were rung in memory of Arthur.
(4/7/1964 - 2/2/2013)
Juliet was born on 4th July 1964 at the Ellen Badger Hospital in Shipston on Stour. She was one of three sisters born to Barry and Venetia Sutton. Along with her sisters, Juliet was brought up in Brailes and attended the local school there. Later she attended Shipston on Stour High School. After leaving school Juliet went to work at the N.F.U. in Stratford-on-Avon for a number of years. Juliet left there after her son Simon was born and after a break returned to work for an insurance company at Chipping Norton.
Juliet and her sister Angela first learnt to ring at Sutton under Brailes when the late Pam Copson and her husband Ted were teaching a new band of ringers. Juliet was on the fund raising committee of the Church at the time money was being raised for re-hanging the bells.
Later on Juliet, husband Chris and son Simon moved to live in Wellesbourne, where she took an active part in the church and rang the bells. Juliet was a member of various groups based around St Peter's church. Chris and Simon were also involved and gave help with various jobs that came along.
Juliet then went to work for Warwickshire County Council as a student social worker, and then went to Coventry University and studied for a B.A. (Hons) in social work. In 2009 sadly Juliet was diagnosed with cancer and was unable to complete her studies at the University for her B.A. (Hons), as her health and the treatment took its toll. I feel sure if life had allowed Juliet would have passed her degree with flying colours.
Since the day Juliet was told of her cancer she always made the best of every day, looking forward and planning ahead. I was to arrange a ringing tour on her 50th birthday and husband Chris was to learn to ring for it and drive the mini bus. Sadly Juliet did not make it and was only 48 years old when she passed away, but I will still arrange a tour on her birthday. If she is not with us in person, she will be looking down on us from above. We will have to watch our striking that day, Juliet - and get Chris ringing by then!
Over the past 12 months or so as the cancer progressed it was her wish to move back to her childhood village of Brailes to be near her family, and Chris and Juliet bought the house next to her dad. Her sister lives just round the corner. Juliet rang several times early on last year at Brailes, and was well enough to go on a two-day trip to Norfolk to see a Christmas Show, with Christmas Dinner and an overnight stay at Norwich.
The ringers at Brailes were pleased Juliet was well enough to join us with husband Chris for our Ringers' Dinner and a sing-along. We will always remember Juliet and her battle against cancer over the past months and years, giving thanks for her courage, the support she received from her close family and friends, and the treatment she was given by the various hospitals and treatment centres.
Juliet passed away on Saturday 2nd February 2013, aged 48 years. A prayer was said for Juliet before the Four Shires Annual Dinner and a minute's silence observed. Various quarter peals have been rung in her memory, and also a peal was rung on the John Taylor Bell Foundry Works ring of bells at Loughborough.
A Thanksgiving Service for the life of Juliet Elizabeth Reynolds was held at St, George's Church, Brailes, on Wednesday 13th February 2013 at 2-00pm. The bells were rung before the Service and after the committal. It was good that all her ringing friends came along, with 25 ringing before the service and 14 after, and others in the 300-plus church congregation. I think we did her proud and Juliet would have approved of the ringing. We all gave Juliet a great send off. Our thoughts are with all of Juliet's family at this sad time and for the months ahead.
God bless you Juliet; we will never forget you. Rest in peace.
Donations in memory of Juliet were divided equally between the Shakespeare Hospice and the Oncology Department at Birmingham City Hospital Treatment Centre. Chris and family reported that £900 was given to each of these bodies and thanked all for their generosity in making this possible.
(Tower Captain St, George's, Brailes)
Jane Hammond of Willersey also died on 2nd February. An Obituary will appear in the July Newsletter