Obituaries

David Ian Herring

25th March 1952 - 2nd January 2014

David began his ringing career at Wroughton, Wiltshire in 1966 at the age of 14 years and it wasn’t long before he was ringing quarter peals in local churches.

His first quarter was at Wroughton on the 26th June 1969 and I’m informed that it never was sent to The Ringing World:

1260 PB Minor: Margaret Bowman (1st Minor) 1, Ann Toomer (1st Minor) 2, David Herring (1st Q) 3, Fred Cook 4,Maurice New 5, Lewis Cobb (C) 6. Rung to celebrate the Silver Wedding of Reg Clothier Tower Captain.

Dave’s first peal was also a notable event on 8th November 1969 when he rang the 3rd to Grandsire Doubles with all the band ringing their first peal except the conductor Tom Collins.

He was elected to membership of the G&B Association in 1969 and remained a member of the branch for 45 years.

In 1973 Dave took over as Tower Captain and began the task of recruiting more ringers. Several experienced ringers moved into the village and two from the local RAF Hospital came to help and the band expanded to about twenty ringers.

The bells were becoming more difficult to ring with the old wooden bell frame moving so much that the tower was being damaged. Dave went to the next PCC meeting and explained the problem and the suggested solution. The PCC gave their approval for estimates to be obtained from both Whitechapel and Taylors and invited them to come and visit the tower and quote for a new frame, fittings and a re-hang lower in the tower.

Although we wanted to augment to eight, and had almost collected enough money to do that (with a great deal of help from the PCC Treasurer, who seemed to be getting grants from all sorts of organisations), this was not to be. But Dave led the ringers into all sorts of activities to raise money, including spending the night under a ‘haunted tree’ in the churchyard which made the national press. Eventually there was only one option and that was to keep the six and hang them 12 feet lower in the tower and make it a ground floor ring.

This work was completed by Whitechapel with just one bell hanger and mate; the remaining labour came from Dave and the local bell ringers, church wardens and friends.

Dave joined the Rambling Ringers to gain more experience on different numbers of bells and became an extremely proficient 12 bell ringer. He never counted his peals and quarters although the total must have amounted to several hundred. If you ever needed a model ringer, that was Dave; perfect handling, perfect striking and he could turn in the most awkward of heavy tenors.

Dave became the Swindon Branch Ringing Master for several years and introduced lots of branch activities to improve the standard of ringing throughout the branch and beyond into the Salisbury Diocese.

Dave was married to Debbie and had two children, Laura and Patrick, and the picture (above) was taken at his son’s wedding. Although he handed over the task of Tower Captain he remained as deputy and served the church as a bell ringer for more than 47 years.

Dave was such an unflustered character, a much appreciated Samaritan for several years. Being taught to ring by Dave was just a pleasurable experience and you would not meet anyone who had anything but good to say about him; he was such a lovely man.

More than fifty bell ringers attended his Funeral Service where the bells were rung half-muffled. We wanted to ring a quarter after the service but we couldn’t.

We all miss him terribly – May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

Dr JOHN GODFREE
on behalf of the ringers at Wroughton

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CC
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers