Obituaries

Brian Henry Francis Gardner

1944 - 2013

Brian Gardner sadly passed away on the 23rd May 2013 after losing his bravely fought battle with cancer.

Brian was born at Burts Farm, Whitford on 16th April 1944, the eldest of three boys. He attended Musbury Primary School followed by secondary education at Axminster and Exeter Technical School.

His father, Francis Gardner, was a keen ringer and so Brian followed in his footsteps and started to learn to ring in his teenage years, first taught by the late Henry Sprague.

His adult career started with the National Provincial Bank Ltd at Axminster followed by a transfer to the Wareham Branch. It was while he worked in Wareham he met his lovely wife Fay and they married on 8th June 1968.

He and Fay set up home back in Whitford and soon bought Lower Hampton farm. Due to the work load Brian could not commit himself as much as he would have liked to the world of ringing, but was always at hand to ring for special occasions.

During this time Brian had also become the father of three girls. In 1986 he sold the farm and followed a new career with the civil service. Now that Brian had more time in the evenings he soon got back into regular ringing at Shute Church.

In 1993 he took on the role of Ringing Captain from the late Alf Pring at St Michael’s Church, Shute. His youngest daughter Stephanie had also taken up ringing. Over the years Brian has taught and guided many ringers, young and old, as well as being a regular visitor to many neighbouring towers. He became a well known face in the ringing world around East Devon over the last 20 years.

Each year he organised a grand bell ringing outing for Shute, which he spent many hours preparing before-hand to ensure the day ran smoothly.

As well as his bell ringing Brian was also a St John Ambulance member for 25 years and moved on to commercial team training at Exeter until he was 65. Brian was a keen model railway enthusiast and on retirement converted his back garden into a Silverton G-scale model railway which is a popular attraction for his five grandchildren!

Asifallthiswasn’tenoughtofillhistimehe was also a parish Church council member for forty years holding positions of secretary, treasurer and church-warden. He has also been a participant in the Axe Valley Community Choir, as well as being a member of the Whitford and District Produce Association.

A packed church, filled to overflowing, gave testament to the high esteem in which Brian was held. He will be sadly missed by all in the world of ringing.

STEPHANIE MABBUTT

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CC
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers