Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers

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Funeral tolling at Long Compton

Last Saturday (April 4th) there was a funeral at Long Compton of a local dignitary, Roy Reed, who had been a District Councillor and churchwarden. We do not regularly ring for funerals, but Roy's widow asked me if I could arrange ringing before the service and tolling during the interment in the churchyard.

We rang half muffled before the service and then rang down, the ringers being myself, Peter Kenealy, Michael and Stuart Cummins. Len Morley and Caroline Makepeace. For the tolling I thought that it would be interesting to ring the Nine Tailors, so I went up into the belfry and tied a rope strap to the clapper of the fourth. As the coffin was carried out I rang the three lots of three (nine for a man, six for a woman, three for a child). Then as the internment began I started my tolling using the rope strap, ear defenders and a stopwatch: one blow every six seconds gave me ten to the minute, and as Roy was 87 years old I carried on with this for eight minutes and forty two seconds.

The ringing and tolling were much appreciated by Roy's family.

Trevor Hobday