Obituaries

Frederick Flint

2nd January 1920 – 9th March 2014

Until a few days before his death Fred Flint was ringing at Warsop on Sundays. Incredibly, he was able to climb up and down the narrow, uneven stone spiral steps and he had been doing so for nearly 81 years.

Fred was born at 71 Clumber Street, Warsop and was the youngest of six children. He was educated at Hetts Lane and Sherwood schools in Warsop before going to Chesterfield Road College. In 1935 he started work at Adam Eastwood and Sons, first as a clerk, then transport manager, finally as a company director and completed 55 years working for the company. In the 2nd World War he was conscripted to serve as a gunner and driving instructor in the Royal Artillery. During the Normandy Landings he narrowly escaped death when the two boats either side of his were torpedoed. The vehicle he was driving became stuck in the water, but luckily he managed to get it going again. Demobbed in 1945, Fred returned to his job at Eastwoods. After the war the firm were involved in rebuilding the water infrastructure in Britain and building prefabs to house the many made homeless by the War, which meant that he travelled frequently up and down the country.

Fred joined the choir at SS Peter & Paul, Church Warsop, at the age of 11 and later was paid to pump the church organ. At the age of 13 Fred was taught to ring a bell by his brother George, who was in charge of the ringing at Warsop. Sadly his mother died when he was 15 and his brother George, who Fred had really looked up to, died in a motor bike accident. Although Warsop tower had only four bells before augmentation to six in 1947, Fred rang his first peal of Plain Bob Minor on the 3rd bell at Norton Cuckney on 17th May 1937 for the North Notts Association (NNA), conducted by Herbert T Rooke. It was the first peal for all the ringers except the conductor and the first as conductor. In 1939 Warsop won the (NNA) Crawford Cup Striking Competition for the first time. At Arnold, in 1989, when Warsop won the Crawford cup for the 20th time, Fred was most proud to announce that to win again was very special for him, as it was 50 years since Warsop had first won the Cup. In 1964 Warsop ringers won five different bell ringing striking competitions in the same year, the Trophies won being the Crawford Cup, the Sheffield and District Society Cup, and from among the experts of closed lead ringing, the Halifax Cup, the Shelley Cup and the Barnsley Shield. On many occasions the test piece in the competitions was 720 changes, which was no mean feat. Fred has the distinction of having rung on numerous occasions in every Warsop team in various striking contests and has been in the winning team 67 times, an achievement difficult to emulate.

A founder member of the Southwell Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers, Fred was the first North Notts District Ringing Master and held the post for 10 years. He was elected an Honorary Life Member in 1994 and received certificates for 50 and later 60 years membership. Fred was a competent peal ringer and rang a total of 110 peals, one as conductor, and included peals of Minor to Royal. They were rung in 23 different towers in Nottinghamshire and the neighbouring counties. Warsop Tower Captain for 17 years, 1977 to 1994, and Tower fund treasurer for longer than one can remember Fred retired from this office two years ago. He wound up the Church Clock for many years and served as Churchwarden for 16 years and as Church Treasurer for 10 years.

When Fred’s Dad died in 1956 he went to live with his sister Mary and her husband Reg Lucas in Mansfield. Later he moved with them into the house built on Manor Road, Warsop, where he has lived since. He then built 17 Manor Road for his niece Pamela with her daughters, Joanne 4 years and Helen 7 months, who had just lost their dad. Fred was their Godfather and he took his responsibilities seriously as he became like a father to them. Fred had many interests apart from bell ringing; he trained as a glider pilot and flew solo, and he helped his friend Bob Siddall to restore a steam engine called Toby and they took it together to various shows. He was very interested in local history and became a member of the Old Warsop Society. He loved wild life and rural life. He walked everyday initially with his own dog called Honey. When she passed away he didn’t get another dog but walked everybody else’s. Inventing was one of Fred’s other hobbies. He made Joanne and Helen a see-saw, which not only went up and down but round and round. An irrigation system, that went up and down the garden. Only last year he made a shredding table that was much more efficient than one you could buy. Fred was a bachelor all his life but he was an excellent father figure to Joanne and Helen.

For his dedication to bell ringing and the Church, Fred was invited to The Queens Garden Party in 2006 and he took his niece Pamela with him. Fred always said that his secret to longevity was a tot of Famous Grouse whisky and going up and down stairs.

His brothers and sisters enjoyed a close relationship with him and Fred’s family was always important to him, he loved his nieces particularly as he had no children of his own.

Fred’s involvement in ringing at Warsop and the local ringing Societies over his life made a significant impact and he will be sadly missed by all those that knew him.

BRYNLEY RICHARDS

BB BellBoard
CC
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers