Here we remember the lives of some of our members who, sadly, are no longer with us.
We are sorry to hear that Ivan Howitt passed away on Wednesday 3rd January 2024 after a short illness. Ivan rang 7 quarter peals for the Society and 2 peals. He was vicar of Hedon from 2003 for a few years and retired to Barton upon Humber. Our sympathy goes out to his wife Valerie and their family.
My thanks to Ros Baxter for providing this further information:
As well as being Vicar of Hedon for a while from 2003 (until at least August 2006), where he rang 3 peals during his time as Vicar there, Ivan was a member of the Guild of Clerical Ringers and a very capable ringer. He was also a member of the Society of Royal Cumberland Youths. He rang his first peal in Whitchurch Cardiff on 29 January 1973 and went on to ring a total of 60 peals (according to Pealbase) including Kent Maximus at Canterbury Cathedral. He rang 2 peals and 7 quarters for the BnD.
Below is the notice from St Mary's, Barton website (https://bartonstmary.org.uk/):
We are saddened to announce the death of Fr Ivan after a short illness.
Ivan's long ministry brought him to be a deeply loved parish priest, Padre to the Army Cadets, and Chaplain with the Mission to Seafarers in the Humber Ports. He was also a keen bell ringer and railway modeller, and an enlivening presence during his retirement in our parishes, whether in his priestly ministry, or in the choir, or up in the belltower. On All Saints Day he presided at St Mary's Parish Eucharist for what was to be the last time, and delighted in leading us in worship on that great feast of the Christian year.
Please keep him, and Valerie, and all their family and friends in your prayers.
A Requiem Eucharist will be celebrated at St Mary's at 7.00 pm this Tuesday, January 9th. It is expected that a private family funeral will be followed by a service at which those who knew him through the many areas of life and ministry to which he contributed will be able to join in giving thanks for his life among us.
May he rest in peace, and rise in glory.
We are very sorry to hear that Neville passed away on 15th November 2023. Neville was born on the 15th April 1945. His father, Harold, was tragically killed in September 1951 whilst replacing a rope at Daybrook, Nottingham. Despite that terrible legacy, Neville had his first bell handling lesson on his 9th birthday at St Peter, Nottingham. His first peal was ringing the treble to Cambridge Surprise Major at the Loughborough Bell Foundry on 23rd April 1958, just after his 13th birthday.
He went to teacher training college in Sunderland and moved to Cottingham in 1966. He married Margaret at Cottingham on 3rd August 1968 and they had two children, Kathryn (1971) and Andrew (1974), who both learned to ring. Neville and Margaret moved to Walkington in 1989. In addition to playing leading roles at Cottingham and then Walkington, Neville was a long term supporter of the Society and served in various posts for over 40 years. These include Assistant Ringing Master (1968-1971), President during 10 years (1972-1976, 1984-1985, 1996-1998), Auditor for 10 years (1983, 1986, 1988-1995) and Vice-President in 2007. He was well known as a quiz master but his main achievement must be in the field of teaching people to ring. He was also the organiser for many years of the East Riding Ringers' Dinner which later became the Society Annual Dinner and he was Dinner Steward for many years.
At the top end of his ringing career Neville was a member of the 12 bell band that rang several peals at Hull in the 1970s and was also a member of the Ancient Society of College Youths.
His first peal for the Society was at Market Weighton in October 1966 and he went on to ring a total of 239 peals of which 185 were rung for the Society. He conducted a total of 51 peals, of which 44 were for the Society. He rang 404 quarter peals for the Society and conducted 249 of these. Neville was an Honorary Life Member of the Society
He will be much missed in these parts by all those who knew him. Our thoughts are with Kathryn, Andrew and their families.
The funeral will be on Monday 11th December at Haltemprice Crematorium (HU10 6NS) at 11.30am. There will be a wake aferwards at Cottingham Church Hall. To assist with catering please email Neville's daughter Kathryn if you plan to attend.
Ray passed away on Monday 23rd October 2023 in York Hospital at the age of 98. Ray was still an active ringer until early 2020. In recent years Ray had spent some time in hospital following a couple of falls but had subsequently moved back to his family home. Up until only a couple of months ago Ray's company was enjoyed by ringers in the village café following the Saturday morning practices at Holme-upon-Spalding-Moor.
Ray rang 4 peals for the Society all at Holme-upon-Spalding-Moor with his first being in 1970. His quarters for the Society totalled 38, his first being in June 1966. On the 25th February 2017 Ray rang in a quarter peal at Holme-upon-Spalding-Moor marking his own 92nd birthday, which made him the oldest ringer to ring a quarter peal for the Society. Ray lost his wife Ena in 2019, they had been married for 59 years.
We shall all miss Ray's wicked sense of humour and the mischievous twinkle in his eyes.
Thursday 16th November at 1.30pm
We are sad to hear that Jean Booth passed away on Wednesday 19th July 2023. Jean was a member of the band at Cottingham from the 1960s, ringing her first quarter on 21st July 1962 and going on to ring a total of 46 quarter peals. Of these Jean rang 41 at Cottingham and coincidentally rang the same number with her husband Ian whom she married in 1965. Our thoughts are with Ian and their daughters. The funeral service is at St Mary's, Cottingham at 11:30am on Wednesday 2nd August, followed by refreshments in the church hall next door. Cremation is private and family only. Open ringing before the service from 11am, subject to approval by the Rector.
We are sad to hear that Barbara Gibson passed away on Tuesday 25th October 2022. Barbara was a member of the band at Cottingham in the 1960s, ringing her first quarter on 23rd June 1960 and going on to ring a total of 17 quarter peals. She married Richard in August 1965 and our thoughts are with their children Andrew and Annette and their grandchildren.
We are sad to hear that Bob Speak, of Market Weighton, passed away on Tuesday 25th October 2022. Bob was a staunch supporter of the Society and a loyal member of the band at Market Weghton. Bob's first quarter was in 1972 and he went on to ring 6 peals for the Society and 132 quarter peals, most of which (100) were at Market Weighton. For many years Bob and Joan were supporters of Inveraray week held during July each year. Bob did an incredible amount of work in the augmenting of Market Weighton to a ring of eight. Our thoughts are with Bob's children, Lynn and John and his grandchildren.
This tribute is from Janet Peacock of Market Weighton Handbell Ringers:-
Bob and Joan Speak were the founders and mainstay of Market Weighton Handbell Ringers (MWHR) for many years, so it was sad to learn of Bob’s death on October 25th, only nine weeks after Joan’s death. Officially, the team’s handbells belong to All Saints Church, Market Weighton, but Bob and Joan gave them life and over the years, taught many people not only to ring, but to enjoy and appreciate handbell music. Bob conducted the team, was a competent ringer and also arranged much of the music played by the team. For their Jubilee Concert of 2012, the team was joined by Beverley Town Handbell Ringers to perform a concert in St John’s, Market Weighton. Together, the two teams played Bob’s arrangement of “Elizabethan Serenade”, which remains part of MWHR’s repertoire.
As a ‘thank you’ to the Church for storing and insuring the bells as well as allowing the team to practice there rent free, Bob and Joan organised a “Music and Mince Pies” concert each December, with the proceeds being donated to the church. The couple even enlisted members of the Speak family to ring with the team and were always happy to help and encourage newcomers to handbell ringing. Although they retired from the handbell team in 2013 both Bob and Joan retained an interest and continued to give their support and attend concerts.
Bob moved into residential care earlier this year, leaving Joan alone in the house they had shared for over 60 years. Joan was admitted to hospital following a fall, and died on 23rd August, aged 88. MWHR were pleased to ring at both Joan and Bob’s memorial services at All Saints, playing “Marche Militaire” and remembering the many years that Bob and Joan had given to the team and to handbell ringing.
We are very sad to hear that Andy passed away on Monday 19th September 2022. He learned to ring at Kirk Ella and rang his first quarter at North Cave in 1982. He went on to ring 246 Quarters for the Society and 285 peals of which 150 were for the Society. He also served the Society in various posts including Ringing Master, Secretary and then President from 2003 to 2007. Our thoughts are with Andy's wife Ailsa and their daughters and also with Andy's brother Richard, sister Gillian and his mum.
Ringing to mark his passing can be seen here on Bellboard
Andrew was born on 4th March 1967, to John and Doreen Kaye. A baby brother for Gillian and in turn he became big brother to Richard just over 2 years later. Thus, completing the family.
Mum and Dad were very active within the Church and at an early age sent us to Sunday School and we also attended services at St Andrew’s Kirk Ella, so it was only natural that as we grew, we progressed to the Choir, the uniformed organisations, handbell ringing and eventually tower ringing.
Before we took up the ropes, in December 1976, we collected the princely sum of £2 for the augmentation of St Andrews Bells by Carol Singing around the neighbourhood. 'We three Kings Of Willerby Square!' – so we had an association with the bells from an early age.
Andrew loved Bellringing! The mental, the physical, and especially the social side of our art really appealed to him. Soon after learning, Andrew took an interest bell maintenance and we would check the bells, ropes, and fixings weekly, after winding the clock. Andrew was steeple-keeper at St Andrew’s and was made and Honorary Life member of the tower at the age of just 21.
Encouragement came from a very strong home tower and many very able and prolific ringers. This saw him spreading his ringing wings and David and Liz Johnson would take us to Hutton Cranswick regularly on Monday evenings. Once 'The Archers' had finished, David would test Andrew on whichever surprise major method he was getting to grips with. Andrew, pre-empting this would surreptitiously have his diary open and reel off the place notation!
Andrew made friends with ease and was happy in all company. A strong student presence in the area at the time resulted in many weekends away ringing in Cheshire, Suffolk, Nottinghamshire, and other areas, as well as BnD and Tower outings, the Kirk Ella reunion weekend, the list goes on! Andrew was at the centre of the action on all of these occasions.
He was an active member of the BnD. Holding many committee positions. At the time he was secretary, we shared a small house. I would often get a phone call 'have you seen the Service sheets?', 'I can’t find the Minute Book, but will you bring it to the office please?' He was honoured to be made President, a position he held during the 60th anniversary celebrations of the BnD.
Giving up much of his spare time, Andrew was also involved with bell maintenance and was a leading player in the refurbishment of the tower and bells of St. Mary's, Lowgate, Hull. His eye for all things Health and Safety sometimes averted, sometimes frustratingly keen.
Andrew was a good ringer. He rang over 280 peals including some very long lengths. A record peal of 25,200 changes was rung at Hawkshead in Cumbria and, as he was covering to Grandsire Triples, he proclaimed himself the longest donger in the world!
Through ringing, Andrew met Ailsa. They made an amazing team. Andrew has so proud of Ailsa and when Iona, Cleo and then Lara came along he was near to bursting. His Girlies, he would call them!
Andrew's work caused them to move many times early in their relationship and they also spent some time in Doha, Qatar, where he was Health and Safety manager on some pretty major Construction projects. Their young family was growing and they enjoyed their Desert adventure to the full.
The family returned to the UK in time for Iona to attend senior school, and of course Andrew and Ailsa returned to ringing. It wasn't long before Andrew became Tower Captain at All Saints, Stranton. Of course, as they became old enough, each of the three girls learnt to ring too.
It was at this time that Andy's Brain Tumours returned and they eventually prevented him from ringing. He was determined to ring one more time with Ailsa and his three daughters. He asked me to make up the six. Sadly, this never happened. Andy's health deteriorated quickly and he was moved into the wonderful Alice House Hospice in Hartlepool. In his final days he jokingly expressed annoyance at the football being cancelled because the Queen had died.
Andrew quietly passed away on evening of 19th September 2022. He was 55 years old.
We had ringing at his funeral. I gladly took a rope for the first time in 18 years. And so together, Ailsa, Iona, Cleo, Lara and I rang out for Andrew (with three others). I felt Andrew's pride in that moment.
After a recent refurbishment, Stranton bells are back ringing with a recast 4th bell dedicated to 'Ring Out for Andrew Kaye', thanks to a local benefactor. The first quarter peal has been rung and, of course, Ailsa rang the 4th.
Andrew will be remembered for his enthusiasm, his commitment, his ability to encourage others, his friendly, happy and easy nature and of course for being in the middle of any mischief or shenanigans. That cheeky grin winning through.
He was a true and faithful friend to many, a committed and loving father and partner, and a most wonderful brother. I always did, and still do, look up to Andrew. He was a massive influence on my life and I will always look to him for inspiration. I know I am not alone in this sentiment.
He leaves a huge hole in all our hearts and will be greatly missed. But, he would want to be remembered with a smile, a laugh and a happy memory or two.
Richard Kaye. January 2023.
Ringing by Society members to mark the death of the Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II can be seen here on Bellboard
Here is a short article about the ringing at Hessle.
We are sad to hear that Joan Speak, of Market Weighton, passed away on Tuesday 23rd August 2022 following complications after a fall. Joan was a staunch supporter of the Society, serving as Assistant Secretary in 1975 and Secretary in 1976 and 1977. Joan's first quarter was in 1973 and she went on to ring 3 peals for the Society and 202 quarter peals, most of which (176) were at Market Weighton. For many years Joan was a supporter of Inveraray week held during July each year. Our thoughts are with Joan's husband Robert and her children, Lynn and John and her grandchildren.
Her daughter Viv has let us know the sad news that Josie Kirk passed away in April 2022, aged 103. She was the wife of past President Ken Kirk and a stalwart supporter of the Society. She features in quite a few photos in the gallery.
It is with some sadness that we announce the passing of Margaret Pailing. Margaret and Neville were married at Cottingham on 3rd August 1968 and had 2 children :- Kathryn and Andrew. Margaret never progressed further than being a steady Plain Hunt treble ringer, but she was always there to support the Society at Dinners, Barn Dances and of course ringers' teas. She did ring 3 quarter peals. Our thoughts are with Neville and family. Margaret's funeral is on 23rd September 2021 at 12.30pm at Haltemprice Crematorium.
We have just learned that John Ridley died whilst out cycling on Monday 9th August 2021. He attended Hull University 1969-1972 and rang at Cottingham during those years. He rang 44 peals and 9 quarters for the Society. He joined us on many ringing holidays and weekends and remained friends with a number of the older members of the Society.
It is with great sadness that we share news that David Wilson has passed away. After a short illness, David died at Castle Hill Hospital on 1st August 2021. David will be greatly missed by his friends at St Mary's, Beverley and his many friends within the Beverley and District Ringing Society, and the local area. Our thoughts and prayers are with Adam and Natalie, his family and friends at this very difficult time.
Ringing by Society members took place to mark the death of the Duke of Edinburgh and also for his funeral. Full details can be seen here on Bellboard
We have received the news that Richard Gibson passed away on 4th February 2021. Richard was a past President of the Society and an Honorary Life Member. He was very active in the Society from the 1960s to the present day. Our thoughts and prayers are with Barbara, Andrew, Annette and their family and friends at this very sad time.
We have today (19 January 2021) heard the sad news that Ron Ducker passed away this morning at the age of 89. Ron died in hospital, and our thoughts and prayers are with Gwynneth, her family and siblings and all of Ron's friends at this very difficult time.
Ron rang his first peal at North Cave on 17 November 1951 and was an officer of the Society and the Yorkshire Association for many years. Ron will be very much missed by his many friends in the Beverley and District Ringing Society and we know that everyone seeing this will join us in sending our love and support to Gwynneth.