Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Two Choirister Ringers.

Thomas John Fowler and
Walter "Simmy" Ing.
This photograph was taken while I was in the ringing chamber of Holy Trinity Church in March, 2000. I am afraid that it is not a good reproduction from my old digital movie camera. I was very pleased to see this photo among others still in a place of honour.
Thomas John Fowler was the Tower Captain for a great many years, and also held the position of Branch Ringing Master for the South Bucks Branch of the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell ringers. It was towards the end of the second world war when the ban was lifted on the ringing of church bells, that he started to recruit boys from the choir whose voice had broken to learn the art of campanology. We started out I remember with the bells being fitted with a wooden clamp across the clapper of the bell. This was so that the village would not complain about the odd clanging from the tower. Also what made it more interesting that he also persuaded a number of young ladies from the village to learn as well. Mind you bell ringing has for the longest time been a science and art that both sexes can enjoy with equal skill.
Walter "Simmy" Ing was the Vicar's gardener as well as a chorister and bell ringer, and always rang the tenor bell and as he use to say: "Beat the drum and keep time." When my voice broke along with others I was recruited not only as a bell ringer, but the Vicar created us as crucifers and servers. As crucifer my seat was next to Walter, and I can remember I still tried to sing quite lustily! Walters remarks to me was: " For gawd's sake Jimmy, shut up, you are putting me off my music!"
Both men are long gone now, but it is nice to know that they are still remembered in the tower.

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