John Gipson 1923 - 2017
From Peter Hinton, on the Cambridge District website:
I am very sorry to pass on the news that John Gipson has died, at the age of 93. He rang his first peal in 1939 and last rang on the rehung bells at Meldreth in September 2015. A short paragraph is never going to be enough to do justice to his life; John gave so much to Meldreth (not just in his ringing, but in his service to the church and to the village), to the District and the Association and to the ringing community nationally. His engineering skills were put to effective use in many bell-hanging projects, within the Association and beyond. He taught several generations of ringers and was always keen to encourage their peal-ringing. This is truly the end of an era. Our thoughts and sympathies go to his daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
From Richard A Smith, of the Cambridge University Guild:
I am sorry to have to report that John Gipson died earlier today (18th June) aged 93. Johnny was the first person to be elected an honorary member of the (Cambridge University) Guild, and was well known to many generations of Guild members. He rang his first peal on 9 March 1939, of Grandsire Doubles at Meldreth, then a ring of five. He went on to ring a total of 3015 peals, 1669 of which were at Meldreth, an impressive record for the number of peals anyone has rung at a single tower that's unlikely to be broken soon.
John's contribution to the ringing community was significant and will be much missed. He taught many people to ring, and encouraged many of his learners to take up peal ringing.
His engineering skills were frequently put to use in augmentations and bell restoration projects (to say nothing of repairs to ringers' bicycles and cars). He was instrumental in the augmentation of Meldreth to eight in 1968, and hung the new trebles himself; his name appears on the treble as a churchwarden. Although he had stopped peal ringing five years ago, when Meldreth were rehung in 2015, he was able to ring on the bells that September.
Service of Thanksgiving:
A Service of Thanksgiving will be held on Tuesday 25th July 2017 at 2:30pm at Holy Trinity Church, Meldreth. All are welcome.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be sent c/o Peasgood and Skeates Funeral Directors, 45 Moorfield Road, Duxford CB22 4PP for Holy Trinity Church, Meldreth and Ely Diocesan Association of Church Bellringers.
A short biography of John can be found here: http://www.meldrethchurch.org.uk/bells/jgg.htm