T. Edward Harrold – an Appreciation

It was with sadness that I read of the passing of Ted Harrold, formerly of Wigston Magna, Leicestershire. He was mainly responsible for introducing me to serious ringing. I had dabbled with it whilst at Manchester University but I began to ring more regularly in the mid 60s on the six at Countesthorpe. I realised I had to travel outside my own tower to gain the necessary experience and I started to attend practices on the eight at All Saints, Wigston Magna. Here there was a quality Sunday service band captained by Ted, ringing Surprise Major as well as Grandsire and Stedman. After Bob Major Ted kindly arranged and conducted my first quarter of Stedman Triples.

Sometimes he had a sharp tongue and an abrupt manner but was skilled in correcting mistakes in the slow work and I remember him shouting at me “you’re a quick bell, lead right now”. He then called my first quarters of Cambridge Major and Superlative.

One non-standard method favoured by Ted was Wigston Surprise Major – never mentioned nowadays – but I do urge bands to try it. It is of the Bristol type – basically two blocks of Minimus – but at the start of the lead bells move in the opposite direction to Bristol.

Years later after the augmentation to eight at Countesthorpe, Ted rang regularly in our annual Good Friday  Stedman Triples peal . After a fast but faultless peal in the early days I certainly knew I had mastered Stedman.

The last time I rang with him was, I believe, in the early 80s. A Boxing Day peal of London Major was arranged for my benefit. Half of the band were 1,000-pealers and included, I recall, B. S. Chapman, B. L. Burrows,  Alan Cattell, Ted, and my uncle W. Arthur Riddington. The conductor B. G. Warwick warned before the start “This is London and it will not stand any messing about”. Two successive attempts broke down after about 20 minutes – too much Christmas wine. I never did ring a peal of London to complete the standard methods.


Countesthorpe, Leicester 

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