It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Harry Griffiths aged 98. Harry was an Honorary Life Member of the Lichfield and Walsall Archdeaconries Society of Change Ringers and St Peter’s Guild of Change Ringers. He served as a ringer at St Peter’s Collegiate Church in Wolverhampton for over 70 years.

Born on 12th March 1911, Harry and his siblings were orphaned at a young age when both his parents died in the Spanish flu epidemic. He had a hard life growing up in an orphanage especially when his brother died.

He learnt to ring at St Peter’s Collegiate Church in Wolverhampton and became a member in 1935. In those days you had to wait for “dead men’s shoes” before you became a regular paid ringer. He was an active member taking on various tasks such as Librarian, Lichfield Society representative and Vice Tower Captain until in 1964 he became Tower Captain, a post he held for 10 years. He rang a total of 84 peals and was a regular quarter peal ringer.

He met and married Lillian, who also became a ringer, and they had a daughter Irene. Sadly, after 54 years of marriage Lillian passed away.

Bell ringing kept Harry fit, alert and young at heart, certainly his unlined face belied his 85 years when he married Margaret. This was the start of a new adventurous time of life for Harry. He obtained his first passport and went on cruises, visited Austria and Malta, he even travelled to Australia and climbed the Sidney Harbour Bridge! He went up in a hot-air balloon, paraglided on holiday and had a flight in a glider. Not normal activities for the average 90-year-old!

Harry always continued ringing and became a regular ringer at St Bartholomew’s church in Penn as well as continuing to ring at St Peter’s.

In 2004, at the age of 94, Harry suffered a stroke which resulted in the amputation of a leg. With Margaret’s loving care he recovered and not to be beaten went on to ring at St Nicholas’ Church, Codsall, a ground floor ring.

Over the past year Harry became increasingly frail and he passed away on 11th July. His funeral was held on 23rd July at St Bartholomew’s in Penn and was very well attended by family, friends and many ringers who had known and rung with him. Many warm and happy memories were shared afterwards. Harry will be greatly missed; he was one of a kind.

Enid Hands
St Peter’s Collegiate Church,

BB BellBoard
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers