Obituaries

David Alecock

1963 - 2013

David Alecock learned to ring as a teenager at St Peter’s in Woolton, Liverpool. He had gone to meet his girlfriend at St Peter’s after choir practice and was encouraged to try bell ringing as “they could do with some strapping young men”. He quickly took to it and as Peter Furness recalls: “He had a meteoric rise in ringing terms, appearing almost out of nowhere as a very competent ringer apparently able to ring anything he put his mind to. His first peal, Grandsire Triples, was rung at Woolton on the 15th January 1983. He was elected Master of Liverpool University Society in February 1983 and was Master until February 1984. He rang a total of 11 peals for The Society and at least 10 quarter peals in a wide variety of methods and on all numbers.”

David read Mathematics at Liverpool University and graduated with a First. He took a job with Plessey in Templecombe in Somerset and took charge of ringing there for a short while helping to teach learners. He also rang at nearby Milborne Port, where he made many good friends. During this period David’s peal total dramatically increased, ringing 58 in 1984 and 88 in 1985. David continued to ring fewer peals over the ensuing years but in 1997 he went to Australia on an 18-month secondment where he rang in Sydney, scoring 5 quarter peals.

David returned to the North West in 1995. He rang at Hoole in Chester and at Lymm, but at this time his interest in bell ringing had diminished and he gave up completely for a few years. However after moving house he arrived at Weaverham in 2009 on a practice night. Being a very cautious Tower Captain I asked if he was ringer, he replied that he was but hadn’t rung for a few years. Wanting to make sure he was safe I asked him to ring a bell on his own which he obligingly did, very capably. It soon became abundantly obvious that despite his few years away from ringing, here was a very competent ringer. Apparently David took great delight in telling this story to his old ringing friends from Dorset and Somerset when he visited that part of the world on holiday.

David joined the Weaverham band and I have since discovered that the ease with which he fitted into our band was typical of his character. Not only was David an excellent ringer but he was very sociable, always in favour of going to the pub after practice and outings. At this point in time David’s daughter Lydia was living in Australia but she came to spend 12 months with him in 2011 and David taught her to handle a bell at Weaverham before she returned to Australia to continue her studies.

David’s interest in ringing did not return to his enthusiasm of the mid 80s but he was a regular member of the Weaverham band, ringing on practice nights and for Sunday services, and in the band which won the Chester Guild’s 6 bell striking competition several years in succession.

Upon his return from visiting Lydia in Australia after last Christmas, David became unwell. He managed a few visits up the tower on practice nights but it was clear to see that things were not right. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March. He remained positive and bore his illness with great fortitude and a calmness which was an inspiration to everybody who knew him. David’s favourite Surprise Minor method was Norwich and the Weaverham band rang a quarter peal on June 4th to mark his 50th birthday.

Sadly David died on August 19th. His funeral was a Quaker service at which many of his friends spoke of their memories of David. It was clear that he was a very special person who easily made friends and was well loved and respected wherever he went. All our sympathies go to Lydia and David’s wife Jane, who although she did not ring herself became a good friend and has been our communication channel during David’s illness. We shall miss the very competent ringer that he was and the friend that he so quickly became.

PAM THOMSON

The following quarter peals have been rung in David’s memory:

Frodsham, Cheshire. 23 Aug, 1250 Cambridge S Major: Adrian J Bowen 1, Helen S Mitchell 2, Peter Wilkinson 3, Ian W Taylor 4, Geoffrey Parting 5, William G Bibby 6, Andrew J Jobson 7, Patrick W J Deakin (C) 8. Rung in memory of C Kenneth Lewis MBE on the centenary of his birth and of David W Alecock of Weaverham who died on 19th August aged 50.

Weaverham, Cheshire. 27 Aug, 1272 Norwich S Minor: Catherine E Ockwell 1, Pam Thomson 2, Peter Wilkinson 3, Peter J Hampson 4, Adrian J Bowen (C) 5, Andrew J Rawlinson 6. Rung in memory of David W Alecock, a member of the local band, who died on 19th August aged 50.

Weaverham, Cheshire. 1 Sep, 1260 Doubles (3m): Peter J Hampson 1, Norma Berry 2, Catherine E Ockwell 3, David A Fulton 4, Peter Wilkinson (C) 5, Joanne R Stott 6. Rung in memory of David W Alecock, a member of the local band, who died on 19th August aged 50.

Milborne Port, Som. 24 Aug, 1287 Grandsire Triples: Tony Thorp 1, Susan J Wales 2, David Wales 3, Alan Dyson 4, Alan Davis 5, Gary Davies 6, Sam Shead (C) 7, Tony Higgins 8. Rung in memory of David Alecock, one time ringer at this tower, rung by his fellow friends, ringers and former colleagues. Bob & Jill Lock would also like to be associated with this quarter peal.

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Central Council of Church Bell Ringers