1921 - 1911

Min and Alex’s 60th Wedding Anniversary celebrationsMin was a very supportive wife to Alex Martin who died in 2009 (see issue #5112), and to quote from the eulogy given at her funeral service by her elder son, “she was dragged up to the bells by a dictatorial Tower Captain!” Local ringers well remember Alex being the kingpin, but Min was the balm on troubled waters and tolerated his many absences when he was attending Ringing Meetings or Practices. Min had other commitments at home, bringing up three children, two of whom became ringers – the third (and eldest) finding refuge in the choir!

On one practice night, when one of the ropes was regularly slipping wheel, Min, the latest victim, in her defence retorted “… well, Alex had it off three times on Sunday morning …” She was blissfully unaware of the giggles from the teenagers present. Like ringing, learning to drive was not one of Min’s priorities either but became essential after Alex had had a dalliance with the law following over-indulgence at a dinner at his Temperance Lodge!

Although not in any sense a peal ringer (Alex nonetheless ensured she rang her only one) she was a stalwart of the Sunday Service bands which, at one time, involved ringing for three services each Sunday. On completing 40 years’ membership of the Chester Diocesan Guild (1997), Min was elected an Honorary Life Member.

Min and Alex were very helpful to new ringers and those with personal problems. Returning to the area for the Liverpool University (singular in those days) Society of Change Ringers’ Annual Dinner, members were assured of bed (or floor!) and breakfast at the Martins’ home across the Mersey in Birkenhead – and it was Min, of course, who was the one left to manage all the necessary domestic duties.

Only weeks before her death, Min celebrated her 90th birthday when she was presented with a card signed by Wirral ringers, including many who had left the area. A certain ringing event held earlier in Leeds provided the ideal opportunity to obtain their signatures.

Min died peacefully in Glebe House at Hollesley, Suffolk, very near her daughter, where she had lived for the last two and a half years but the family returned to its roots in Wirral for the funeral service at St Saviour’s, Oxton, her home tower. A quarter peal was rung in her memory on the evening before the funeral at which there was general ringing, half-muffled, prior to the observance of two minutes’ silence at 11am, this being on Armistice Day. She is survived by her daughter Barbara, two sons, Ian and Christopher, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

P. F. H. / W. H.

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