It is with some degree of personal sadness that I write to inform bell book lovers of the recent death of J Michael Farringdon of West Cross, Swansea.

Mike (as he liked to be known) and I first met through his involvement with Literary and Linguistic computing for which, when I worked on the SRC Atlas computer at Chilton (next door to Harwell on the Berkshire downs), we provided a service used by all UK universities.

That turned into a closer friendship, and provided me with an awareness that he dealt in second-hand books, when I went to Cardiff to take up the post of Computer Manager and later director of the Computing Centre. The computing groups at each of the constituent colleges of what was then the University of Wales met annually at Gregynog Hall, near Newtown, Montgomeryshire. So it needed little encouragement for me to suggest to Mike that he might like also to specialise in books related to ringing, a suggestion that he readily took up and I believe gave him another group of friends, albeit long-distance, as customers.

I know well that, although not a ringer himself, he enjoyed the contact with what to him was ‘another world’ and the friendship that pervades our community of interest. We will miss his occasional A5 booklets advertising his current stock of, usually, about 200 books.

He leaves a devoted wife, Jill, who gave him and his book mania much support throughout the years.


BB BellBoard
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers