15th July 1933 - 11th January 2014

Marion Capey was brought up in Whitley Bay, Northumberland, and, on leaving school, went to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary to train as a Radiographer (Therapeutic) under her father’s sponsorship. Whilst there she decided that she wanted to learn to ring and was taken on as a learner by the band at St Cuthbert’s (then an 8, 21cwt) under the leadership of Rognvald Wilson. She was ringing Stedman Triples in about a year as she was the only learner and the rest of the band were sound ringers of many years standing. She was a tall stunning red-head who was taken to be a native Scot.

After five years she returned home for a Senior’s job on the Linear Accelerator at Newcastle General Hospital and joined the famous band at St Paul’s, Whitley Bay, led by the Gofton family. Her first peal, Bob Major, was at North Shields in 1955 organised by Robin Leale who was then studying at King’s College Newcastle. In 1956 she and Alan Ainsworth met up and they married in 1958 at St Margaret’s Methodist Church, Cullercoats, where her grandfather had been Minister and where her father was Organist, Treasurer, et c. She then joined the Newcastle Cathedral band.

She enjoyed the adventure, companionship of a a young band striving to ring peals in a progressive way and rang 80 peals in the five years before Elva arrived. The family moved to Birmingham, when Alan got a job at the General Hospital, and Joanna was born in 1964. Marion devoted her time to the children and to periods of study, sitting exams of the Institute of Statisticians, as well as developing a range of craft skills in knitting, embroidery etc. As Alan was Ringing Master of the St Martin’s Guild during the five years of 1964- 1969 the house was often full of ringers. Marion wrote various insightful articles and letters about ringing for The Ringing World in this period and continued these in the 1980s/90s.

In 1970 the family moved to Amersham, Bucks (a sleepy ringing area after the intenseness of Birmingham), as Alan got a job with the Head Office of Abbey National in Baker Street, London. Marion continued her bent for study and enrolled in the first intake of the Open University. Her BA degree covered Maths, Social Sciences and Systems Behaviour. Mark was born in 1976 and Marion started on other keen interests in Squash & Tennis and Running. She ran, in the early morning before commuter car exhausts pollute the air, for 33 years keeping detailed records of the various routes, mileage and times. She was still walking vigorously only weeks before she died. She also joined Scottish Dancing groups and was in an Exhibition Team. Her favourite dance was “The Duke of Perth”.

As her interest in Squash/Tennis petered out she started on the long road towards obtaining a PhD from the Royal Holloway College of the University of London. This took some 7/8 years and was awarded in 1998 when she was 65. The work involved intensive research in libraries at the British Museum, the Aldwych and the Senate House. Lots of number crunching, her studies spread across Psychology, Psychiatry, Statistics, Physiology, Chronobiology, Sports Science and Sleep Studies. All exciting, challenging and often daunting.

Then in her 70s Marion became involved in Elva & Mark’s firm, Talent Innovations, looking after the Accounts and only finally retired from this work when over 80 years old when her final haematology crisis started.

As to ringing she took it up again in the 1980s when Amersham were augmented to 8 and continued until her final illness. Her last Quarter peal was rung in October 2013. Her total of 166 peals were mainly rung in two phases, around 1960 and around 1987. They included 14 on 10 bells and 4 on 12 bells. The 50 or so methods she rang included Glasgow & Belfast S Major, Stedman Cinques and Cambridge Maximus. She liked to lose peals as she found them too long and boring, much preferring the social gatherings afterwards. One notable peal was in October 2002 when Marion rang a peal at Amersham which was Alan’s 3000th peal, with Elva, Joanna and Mark also taking part, this being the only peal containing all five members of the family.

She was always immensely encouraging to both young and older learners and continued to the end to be analytical in trying to see the how and whys of progress, tuition and development of ringers. Her full and interesting life was characterised by consistently encouraging enthusiasm for anything she did coupled with an intense curiosity.

Ten years ago she was diagnosed with a form of blood cancer, Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, requiring her spleen to be removed in 2007. The condition remained quiescent until late last year when it changed into an aggressive form which needed multiple transfusions. She died in her sleep at home with her family on 11th January leaving Alan, Elva, Joanna and Mark and grandchildren, Alex, Aidan, Logan, Emily and Thomas.

Her funeral at St Mary’s Amersham was conducted by the Rector, Revd Tim Harper, and was attended by over 170. It has been described as being uplifting and inspiring. Four rousing hymns were sung and the story of her life, based on notes which she had written on the computer in her final illness, were read by Clive Lemmon, Simon Linford and Revd Canon Rosie Harper. Grandsire Caters in hand was rung around the coffin by Patricia Newton, Robin Leale, Roger Baldwin, Kevin Lucas and Neville Parkin. The organ was played for the hymns by her neighbour of 38 years, Philip Woodhead, and Dr Peter Mackie played the piano both in the welcome period of an hour before the service and for the Recessional (Mozart’s Fantasie). The fine tuneful 12 bells were put to good use both before and after the service and some excellent rounds greeted us as we emerged from the church for the burial. One of the bells, the second, bears her name.

Marion is buried in Chesham Bois Burial Ground in a peaceful rural setting, close to one of her running/walking routes.

Many have described her as a “lovely lady”. She will be fondly remembered by ringers and friends and sorely missed by all her family to whom she was very close.

The Family Ainsworth

Quarter peals rung in memory of Marion Ainsworth

Amersham, Bucks. 23 Jan, 1282 Cambridge S Royal: Alan Ainsworth 1, Dierdre Watson 2, David Cornwall 3, Valerie Simmonds 4, Nick Balderson 5, Jan Galloway 6, Ken Darvill 7, Jon Potter 8, Robert Newton (C) 9, Brian Watson 10. Rung in fond memory of Marion Ainsworth. £BD

Amersham, Bucks. 13 Feb, 1280 Cambridge S Royal: David A Cornwall 1, Alison M Bayley 2, Sheila Bruce 3, J Alan Ainsworth 4, Deirdre Watson 5, Valerie J Simmonds 6, Roger W Powell 7, Nicholas J Balderson 8, Brian C Watson 9, Charles M S Botting (C) 10. In warm memory of Marion Ainsworth by a band with whom she had rung many Qs here at Amersham in recent years. £5

Berkhamsted, Herts. 20 Jan, 1260 Grandsire Triples: Margaret A Burbidge 1, Peter Valuks 2, Howard Collings 3, L Roy Woodruff 4, Christopher W Hoare 5, David Burbidge (C) 6, Alan M Shepherd 7, Tony Ruberry 8. In memory of Marion Ainsworth. £4

High Wycombe, Bucks. 19 Jan, 1277 Stedman Caters: Alison Bayley 1, John Hearn 2, Ann Davies 3, George Whiteside 4, Josie Martin 5, Alan Bain 6, Charles Botting (C) 7, Patricia Newton 8, Robert Newton 9, David Sullivan 10. Rung for Choral Evensong & in memory of Marion Ainsworth. £4

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 23 Jan, 1280 Doubles (4m): Don Morrison (C) 1, Adam Nelson 2, Mary Bragdon 3, Matt Nelson 4, Ross Finbow 5, Pete Peters 6. In memory of Marion Stella Ainsworth, who died on 11 January 2014, aged 80.

Turramurra, NSW. 12 Jan, 1296 Cambridge S Minor: Margaret Goodyer 1, Elaine Lee 2, Tom Goodyer 3, Graham Harman 4, Peter McEvoy 5, Stephen Fox (C) 6. Rung to commemorate the life of Marion Ainsworth of Amersham who died yesterday.

Uxbridge, Middx. (S Margaret) 21 Jan, 1260 St Simon’s Triples: Hugh Thomas 1, Paul K Ruston 2, Val A Ruston 3, Alan Rix 4, Roger Forster 5, Michael Palmer (C) 6, John Manley 7, Monica Trow 8. Rung in memory of Marion S Ainsworth. 1st in m: 2, 4 & 5. First as C.

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