1936 - 2013

Judy was born Judith Marjorie Allard on 12th July 1936 in Westcliff-on-Sea. She was educated at Westcliff High School for girls and then went on to qualify as a bacteriologist through evening classes at the London Hospital.

She had a lovely voice and really enjoyed singing initially in the school choir and then joining the Leigh Operatic and Dramatic society where she met her future husband, Tom Anderson. Seeking a home in which to start their married life near to their work, they came to view a house in Sharnbrook, near the church, on 21st January 1967. We know it was that date because the tower records show a peal was rung on that day.

Tom said that the bells were ringing throughout their viewing and, as a result, they very nearly decided not to buy! However, buy it they did and moved in after they were married at St Saviour’s Church in Westcliff on sea on 1st April 1967.

I guess the seeds were sown as, within a few short weeks they accompanied a ringing colleague of Tom’s along to the tower and started to learn under the leadership of Bunty Lovell.

Judy set high standards for herself, both in her professional career and also in her leisure activities. Joining Unilever Research Laboratories in 1966, she worked on developing rapid methods for identifying bacteria in food,gaining a patent for this work in 1992. Her published work is still referred to and is highly regarded today.

Judy’s hobbies include many types of sport, both participating and watching. She played Hockey for Bedfordshire County and became one of the top six women croquet players in the country. She loved to watch cricket and was a frequent visitor to Lords and Trent Bridge.

Tom and Judy both became competent ringers and regular attendees on a Sunday, except when they were playing Croquet! Judy would conscientiously learn new methods, rarely make mistakes and could be quite critical if others did not match her expectations. Both Tom, when he was tower captain at Sharnbrook, and later I, were told in no uncertain terms when the ringing did not meet her high standards.

Judy was not a keen peal ringer, taking part in only four – all at Sharnbrook. She was, however, very proud of her first, which was rung by a Sunday service band and included two other first pealers and a first as conductor, rung to celebrate the centenary of the Bedfordshire Association.

She was happy ringing quarter peals though, ringing a total of 262, of which 249 were on the, then six, at Sharnbrook in a wide variety of methods, mainly for Sunday evening service. Two quarters in particular were important to Judy. In 1982 she rang one with Ted Duffield. Well known in both ringing and croquet circles, Ted had also been tower captain at Sharnbrook in the 1920s and was over 80 at the time.

The other, in 1994 was the first of a previously un-rung method. In accordance with the rules, the band named the new method. With a desire to have a local connection and with the name Sharnbrook already used, the band decided on Yelnow Delight. Yelnow is the name of a green lane on the edge of the village.

Judy’s high standards and her ability to ring small bells accurately meant that she was the natural choice for the Treble for the Bedfordshire Association’s striking contest. For those contests that we received a certificate, they indicate that Judy was invariable ringing the treble.

Judy ceased to be an active member of the Sharnbrook band in 2001, when she first developed cancer. She did, however, remain a keen supporter (and critic) of the band right to the end. She always attended the tower AGM and would contribute to discussion in a very positive way. She also joined us on outings and the annual ringing holiday.

In 2005, when the band decided to augment the bells from six to eight, Judy and Tom very generously donated a bell in memory of their parents. Both Judy and Tom’s names are also on the bell and, whilst remembering their parents, it also provides us with a fitting reminder of Judy, her ringing ability and high standards, and also the support and friendship she gave to the local ringers.

Tower Captain, Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire

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Central Council of Church Bell Ringers