Chris learnt to ring church bells at St Helen’s, Saddington, Leicestershire. As a young man, when his army service ended he returned to the village with his family, determined to resurrect bell ringing on the five bells which had been silent for too long. The bells were a ground floor ring at the west end of the church; the external doors of the tower ensured that the ringing room was always well ventilated what ever the season!

Over the years the ringing prospered with help from visitors, regular practices and new recruits, among these were Chris’s wife Lilian and younger son Simon. The idea to augment the ring to six was Chris’s; so how to raise funds? True to form Lilian visited every house in the village to collect money for the project, the addition of a treble was completed in 1984, later a ringing floor was fitted, the result is a pleasant, draught free ringing room.

Army service took Chris and his family to the far east and Europe. It was while on one of these postings that Chris suffered a serious arm injury and the loss of an eye – though you would not have known it. These injuries were not allowed to get in the way of a determined Chris. He rang at least five peals and over fifty quarters, joining outings and ringing holidays.

Chris served the church in many capacities, helping at other practices, membership of both Parish and Parochial Councils and he fitted a kitchen facility in St. Helen’s. The fine set of handbells was used at Christmas time to accompany the Carol singers around the village again instigated by Chris and Lilian.

Chris was a quiet man of wisdom and contentment who enjoyed his pipe and whisky. He had a deep knowledge of the countryside; a true countryman. It was on a lovely April day this year that Chris came to a ringing meeting held at Saddington, he enjoyed hearing ‘his’ bells and talking to many of his friends.

Chris was proud of his children and grandchildren and their achievements, our thoughts are with them, the ringers are proud to have known him and we too will miss him.

Garry W. Mason
& Gwenyth M.Tyler

BB BellBoard
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers