Ted (Edward) Wyld former tower captain at Wye, Kent died on 18th February at the age of 92. Without ever seeking the limelight he was a stalwart supporter of ringing in Wye and neighbouring towers; as a ringer for over 60 years, an excellent teacher for over 50 years and tower captain at Wye for 35 years.

Ted took up ringing shortly after moving to Wye, with his wife Vera, at the end of 1947. At that time the band at Wye rang only call-changes. It was not until a decade later that a group including Ted taught themselves method ringing from books, eventually ringing Plain Bob, Grandsire and Stedman to a high standard.

Ted was content ringing standard methods at Wye, without aspiring to anything more challenging; he had too many other interests. He rang a number of quarter peals and two peals, both at Wye, both to a high standard. The first in particular was one of those wonderful occasions when a band that did not look particularly strong (containing five local ringers), clicked and rang excellently.

A civil engineer by profession, Ted loved teaching. He coached the primary school chess team and was involved in adult literacy and numeracy programmes. He put his talent for instruction to particularly effective use teaching ringing. A very good bell handler himself, he was able to help his pupils understand what they needed to do, and to keep them safe and comfortable while they developed their skills. He also had the knack of seeing what a learner was actually doing, praising what was good and gently correcting what was not.

In addition to teaching at Wye, Ted gave long term teaching support to new bands at Mersham, Kennington and Godmersham. Even when no longer strong enough to teach himself he would still attend teaching sessions at Wye sharing his experience. A majority of the current band at Wye were taught by Ted. Without his loyalty and skill, exercised for over 50 years, the band now at Wye might not exist.

He was tower captain for 35 years until he was well into his eighties. During this time he oversaw the rehanging of the bells, the recasting of the 7th (now the 9th) and the completion of the ring of 10. Wye’s reputation for welcoming visiting ringers was consolidated at this time and Ted’s hospitality to visitors was well known.

Apart from ringing Ted was very involved in village life being inter alia chairman of several committees, an active member of the amateur dramatic society and secretary of the Friends of Wye Church. His contribution to society was recognised in 2002 when he received the Royal Maundy at Canterbury Cathedral.

Ted rang for the last time on 15th July 2011. On that occasion he was awarded a certificate for over 50 years’ membership of the KCACR and was present for the dedication of the board recording the peal rung to mark his 90th birthday. It was a very happy occasion and a fitting end to the ringing career of a great servant of the Exercise.

C. J. W.

BB BellBoard
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers