Horace W Gilbert:
November 1910 – October 1988
The following obituary was published in The Ringing World of 18th November 1988 (Page 1082)
When at the end of the 1914-18 war there were not enough ringers to ring the bells at Wootton, Beds, Horace Gilbert, then aged 7, went up the tower at every opportunity, and over a period taught himself to handle a bell.
The practice at Wootton was to ring “from the boards” and so Horace did not do any change ringing until after the Second World War, by which time he had married and moved into Kempston parish. He joined the local band and was never happier than when teaching youngsters to ring.
He rang two peals, the last on Kempston bells before rehanging and the first after the rehanging.
During the D.I.Y. rehanging his experience as a maintenance fitter at the local brickworks was put to good use and his sense of humour ensured that each evening shift had its share of entertainment.
Although by the time two trebles were added his eyesight was failing, he took to the ten bell rhythm immediately, and Grandsire Caters rung at a brisk pace became his favourite method.
Outside the tower Horace had a vast repertoire of old Music Hall songs and his leadership of the singing on Kempston outings will be remembered by many for a long time to come.
Members of the Kempston band acted as pall bearers at his funeral and half-muffled ringing by friends from local towers took place before and after the Service on 17th October.
A half-muffled quarter peal of Grandsire Caters was rung immediately following the Service. As his son Clive remarked later, we gave him a good send off.
Kempston, Beds, 17th October 1988
A Quarter Peal of 1259 Grandsire Caters
1 Lynn Brett
2 B A R Thompson
3 Nicola Darwood
4 Helen Manktelow
5 N H Brett
6 S J Darwood
7 D Green
8 R J Hillson
9 A M Keech (C)
10 C W Izzard
Half-muffled in memory of Horace Gilbert immediately after his funeral service