Decades of Ringing the Changes

by Gerry Lynch last modified 21 Nov, 2013 04:32 PM

Eric Hitchins celebrates 70 years as a member of the Salisbury Diocesan Guild of Ringers.

In 1942, Eric Hitchins, along with his brother Laurie and two other youngsters, Fred Slatford and Donald Lee, were taught to ring at St Nicholas North Bradley by Percy Harding, a very experienced ringer.  This was at the height of World War Two when bell ringing was only allowed on ‘special days’ and practices were few.  When the ban on ringing was lifted in 1943, the four young ringers became members of the Salisbury Diocesan Guild of Ringers. 

Over the 70 years of his membership, Eric was Honorary General Secretary from 1972-78.  He became an Honorary Life Member in 1993 after 50 years of ringing and is also a Vice-President of the Diocesan Guild.  One of his major achievements was to stabilize fund raising for the Llewellyn-Edwards Bell Restoration Fund.  

Since that time and despite a move to Norwich, Eric has continued to support the Guild, and his ringing friends are delighted that he and his wife are planning to move back to the Diocese.

At the November meeting of the Devizes Branch of the Guild, held at Warminster, Eric was presented with a certificate for 70 years’ membership by Tom Garrett, the Guild Master. 

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