Obituaries

Tina Matilda Bridge 1956 - 2009

Tina was born in the East End of London and became a member of the band at St George-in-the-East, London E1. She also lived for a while at Finchley and rang with the local band. She rang her first quarter peal here on 16th February 1975, on the treble to Plain Bob Doubles. She maintained her link with the St George’s ringers and rang her first quarter inside to Bob Doubles on 23rd May 1975 there for her confirmation at Tokynton (nr Wembley). It was while ringing at St Mary’s, Finchley that Tina met her future husband Robin and they were married in June 1977 at Stepney Registry Office. There are many happy memories of Middlesex N & E District meetings at St. George’s and in particular the teas which she and Robin organised.

After leaving London they lived in Basingstoke for two years with ringing at Sherborne St John and then moved to Southampton ringing at The Church of The Ascension, Bitterne Park when, with a young family, time allowed.

After moving to Woodfalls, Wiltshire in October 2004 Tina joined the Downton band. In the ensuing too few years she made such an impact, not just in the tower but at Branch level as well. At the Salisbury Branch AGM at Downton in 2007 she was elected onto the committee and the following year elected Branch Chairman. Despite her illness Tina was determined to visit every tower in the Branch and although she didn’t realise this aim she did get to nearly all of the Branch Practices. She was a member of the ‘First Monday Quarter Peal Group’ and rang a number of quarters with the group. Tina and Robin were regular supporters of the Branch SAGOR meetings, and despite her illness made the long trip to Askerwells and Loders in July.

Most of all Tina will be remembered for her great enthusiasm for recruiting and helping young ringers. She regularly took the Downton ringers to local towers and arranged several outings for them. One, in April 2007, was to the Whitechapel Bell Foundry and a number of nearby towers including St George-in-the-East. Those who went will remember getting caught up with the football supporters at the pub she had organised for lunch. It must be the only time that a group of ringers have been escorted into a pub by the police!

Tina taught several young ringers at Downton and it gave her enormous satisfaction when two of these rang their first quarter in July although she was deeply upset not to have been able to ring with them. Although the Branch had previously discussed holding a ‘Young Ringers’ Day’ it was Tina’s enthusiasm and organisation that enabled the Salisbury Branch to do this so successfully for the first time last year. This year, although she was not able to take an active part she kept a keen eye on the progress of the arrangements.

Sadly this year’s ‘Young Ringers’ Day’, held on 5th August, was the last ringing event that Tina attended. It was obviously a great effort for her to do so but she was very determined to be there and at lunch time was discussing the possibility of holding a three or four day residential ‘ringing camp’ for the young ringers next year. The next day she went into Salisbury Hospice and died just two weeks later on 20th August. Her funeral service was held at Salisbury Crematorium on September 2nd. This was followed by a Service of Thanksgiving on 19th September, arranged by the Salisbury Branch, at St Laurence, Downton. The service, led by the Rector The Revd Frank Gimson, was attended by her family and many friends and ringers from London, Sussex and the Salisbury Guild. Ringing took place at Downton throughout the day including three quarter peals.

Stephen Jakeman,
on behalf of her friends in East London

Patricia Davidson,
Salisbury Branch, SDGR

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Central Council of Church Bell Ringers