In Memoriam, Frank Kennington

On Monday, 5 February, the bell ringers rang a Commemorative Quarter Peal for Frank Kennington, who died in January, after a lifetime of dedication to ringing church bells.

Malcolm Harris, the Bell Captain at All Saints, Waltham, tells us more:

Frank Kennington was tower captain at St James, Grimsby for an incredible fifty seven years. For a number of years he was also the ringing master of the Northern Branch of the Lincoln Diocesan Guild of Change Ringers and a mainstay of ringing in north Lincolnshire. When the stairs up to the tower at the Minster became too much, for the last few years of his life, Frank became a regular Sunday service ringer at All Saints, Waltham.

To commemorate Frank’s life the ringers at St James and All Saints thought it would be appropriate to ring simultaneous quarter peals.  In a church tower, all the bells are given numbers.  At All Saints, there are six bells.  The lightest – the treble, is number 1 and the heaviest – the tenor, is number 6, with the intervening bells numbered 2, 3, 4 and 5.  A quarter peal is 1260 mathematical changes – where 123456 is one change and 214365 is another.  The order of the bells must change on every stroke.  In addition it must be rung without stopping and usually takes about forty five minutes.

On the evening of Monday 5th February 2018, the two quarter peals were attempted; one at Waltham and the other at Grimsby and both were successful.  Each was noteworthy.  The Waltham attempt involved three of the Waltham ringers; Paula Hill, Alex Sutcliffe and Colin Markham ringing their first ever quarter peals.  The band in the successful St James quarter comprised two of Frank’s nieces, as well as an additional great-niece and great nephew.

It was felt that ringing simultaneous quarter peals at the two towers where Frank did most of his ringing was a fitting tribute.  He will be sadly missed by his family and many ringing associates.


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