A fitting way to remember Bill - The Evesham Observer

A fitting way to remember Bill

Evesham Editorial 21st Jan, 2018   0

A POPULAR Pershore bell ringer will be remembered during a series of special bell ringing peals at Pershore Abbey in February.

Each peal will start at 9.45am and take about three hours to complete.

The first peal has been arranged by Paul Jopp, who grew up in Stoulton and learnt to ring as a child and completed his first full peal when he was just eight-years-old.

His team of ringers will be ringing a peal of Stedman Triples, during which seven of the eight bells will be creating the change sequences, whilst the heaviest bell, the tenor, will strike last at the end of each sequence.

This peal, on Saturday February 3, is being rung to honour Arthur ‘Bill’ Berry who died five years ago.

Bill, a former resident of Priests Lane in Pershore, was taught to ring on St Andrew’s bells and for more than 50 years, looked after and rang the Abbey bells.

Bill worked as a bell hanger and had been involved in many bell restoration projects in the area, of which St Andrew’s was his first.

He was a member of the Ancient Society of College Youths, one of the two major national ringing societies.

The ringers taking part in his memorial peal are also all members of the ASCY, drawn from around Britain.

The second peal, arranged by Roger Hunt, will be on Saturday, February 24.

Fifty years ago, as a teenager, Roger learnt to ring at Hampton church, Evesham, and has regularly rung at Pershore Abbey.

Now he has invited a team of ringers, including three people who have yet to ring a peal at the Abbey, to ring Pershore Surprise Major, a method in which all eight bells are involved in the change sequences.

This method was first rung and named on Boxing Day 1969 at the Abbey, when Roger rang the treble bell.

The ringers of this second peal are all affiliated to The Worcestershire and Districts Change Ringing Association.

Roger is planning to ring the sixth bell so that he will have rung a peal on each of the eight bells in the tower, a feat known in the bell ringing community as ‘circling the tower’.

Tower captain Stuart Piper said: “We are grateful to the Abbey for letting us ring these significant peals.

“The peals are being rung by experienced bell ringers. From a local perspective, we want to recruit new ringers to take part in the national bell ringing planned for 1,000 churches on Armistice Day in November.”

Anyone wishing to learn to ring for Armistice Day can find out more by calling the Abbey Office on 01386 552071.


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