John Colbert, Tower Captain of Wybunbury Tower, passed away on 26th February 2012 aged 66, after a short illness. John was quintessentially an English gentleman with a touch of eccentricity that made him stand out from the crowd. He had a humorous but assertive approach, he loved a challenge, to try something different and say “Oh B-----” with a big grin if things didn’t go to plan. John had an unrivalled enthusiasm for all aspects of life. He had that rare gift to care about everyone with an inclusive angle that made you feel welcome at any level, from beginner to master; he would share his drive and passion for ringing widely.

He would take every chance he could to ring at different towers and foster new relationships. He had rung in Toronto, the Carolinas and invited the North American ringers to visit Wybunbury and ring in the local area. John also rang for many years in the Bedford area, whilst living there during the working week and returning to Wybunbury at the weekend.

It was clear from his funeral that his energy and enthusiastic approach to life spilt over into his working life, with tributes being paid to his larger than life character from as far a field as Europe and New Zealand. As well as ringing he was an active member of village life and was involved in the re-introduction of the annual ‘Fig Pie Wakes’, performing with his Morris Dancing troupe which was another of John’s passions. John was also a voluntary warden and arranged trips around Wybunbury Moss, eloquently describing the habitat and features of the local landmark, where the moss floats on an underground lake.

This giant of a man, full of life and character, touched the lives of many in the village. He was a remarkable person and his enthusiasm for everything he did will be greatly missed by all at the tower, in the village as a whole and by his many other friends and acquaintances.

A half muffled quarter peal of Bob Doubles was rung by as many of his local band as possible and a half muffled peal of Bob Minor was also rung at Wybunbury in memory of John and to celebrate his life (see below).


BB BellBoard
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers