late summer 2015 a new person appeared, without announcement, at a Tuesday
night practice. Little did we know then how significant a part of the ringing
teams John Nixon would become, nor did we foresee how fond we would all become
of him or how soon we would be saying our sad farewells following his death in
early July this year. John was a very experienced ringer and brought over 63
years of ringing experience with him. John came that evening to ring tower
bells, but by the end of the evening, and after a visit to the pub, we also
found out he rang hand bells. So the very next evening, there he was at his
first hand bell practice! We were very grateful for his experience and
commitment both as a tower bell ringer and as a hand bell ringer.

just short of two years John supported the teams ringing for Sunday Services,
weddings and other community events. One of his greatest pleasures was
conducting the “Firing of the Bells” in October 2016 to celebrate the 200th
Anniversary of the opening of the Leeds Liverpool Canal. This enabled John to
combine two of his greatest interests; bell ringing and Canal and River Trust
involvement. John’s retirement meant he was no longer involved in active church
ministry and so he was also able to be a great support to the Hand Bell Team as
they often rang during weekday afternoons to entertain people at various local retirement
and care homes.

had a confident and very pleasant character and was never backward in
encouraging ringers to push the boundaries of what they were capable of in bell
ringing terms. He also very quickly became involved in the social side of bell
ringing life, be that tower or hand bells. John’s interests often matched that
of other retired male ringers in the tower and their anecdotes of older men
misbehaving on various “Industrial Archaeology” jaunts, often entertained us in
the pub after ringing practice.

felt it very fitting that not only did John’s funeral include a fulfilment of
his wish for the tenor bell to be rung 79 times as his coffin was brought into
All Saints; that is once for each year of his life, but it also included the
theme tune from “Last of the Summer Wine”, enabling us to smile and remember the
lighter side of our too brief relationship with him. He will be missed and remembered
by both the tower and hand bell teams at All Saints.