Ronald E J Freeman
1933 – 2015
Ron Freeman, a former ringer at Kempston and Wootton, died on 11th March 2015 aged 81 years.
Ron was born and brought up at Box End, Kempston and as a teenager he learned to ring the bells at All Saints Church, Kempston where his father, Ernest Freeman, was a ringer. He was a member of the Bedfordshire Association of Church Bell Ringers from 1948 to 1959 and from 1976 to 1979, and he rang three peals for the Bedfordshire Association - in 1949 (at Kempston), 1950 (at Stagsden), and 1953 (at Kempston for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II).
Ron served his apprenticeship as a pattern maker at W H Allen in Bedford and he subsequently worked as a pattern maker at Hobkirk’s foundry in Kempston. When the Kempston bells were rehung in a new frame, Ron was a member of the Kempston Parish Church Bells Appeal Committee from 1976 to 1979. He played a valuable part in the rehanging scheme, including making the pattern for the 15 frame castings and (together with the late Jim Routledge) arranging for the castings to be machined and drilled, thus resulting in a considerable financial saving.
Ron is survived by his wife, Dorothy, who he married at Wootton Church in 1966. His funeral service took place at Norse Road Crematorium, Bedford on 26th March 2015.
Ron Freeman in 1977 at Hobkirk’s foundry with the first two castings for the new bell frame at Kempston.