Bellringing Autobiography 2


formerly Ringing Photo Gallery

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the death, peacefully at home, on 24th December 2015, of Dr John R Ketteringham MBE, aged 86.

From "Bellboard"

Ringing Tours

1969 tour

Some of those who took part in my 1969 tour after a peal at Loughborough Bell Foundry.
Left to right : Chris Rowson; Bob Hardy; Norman Edwards; Geoffrey Bridges; Kath Hardy; Robin Grant; Peter Holden; Fred Ross; Keith Walpole; JRK

Lancashire 1970
Left to right : Geoffrey Bridges, Arthur Hall, Tim Wylie, JRK, Alan Long, Jim Andrews, Alan Flood, Keith Walpole, Geoff Fothergill, Chris Forster.

Worcestershire 1971
Left to right : Lucy Hopkins, Keith Walpole, Arthur Hall, Graham Firman, David Brown, JRK, Chris Forster, Tim Wylie, Alan Long


Somerset 1972
Back row left to right : David Brown, David Woodward, Chris Forster, JRK, Peter Hardwick, George Massey. Front row left to right : Alan Long, Graham Firman, David Massey, Tim Wylie, David Franklin, Arthur Hall.

Cheshire 1973
This photograph is of the band who rang a peal of Yorkshire Royal at St Michael Macclesfield on 22 August. Back Arthur Hall (1). Middle left to right Peter Hardwick (7), Alan Long (2), Chris Forster (9), David Woodward (8). Front left to right JRK (3, conductor), Graham Firman (5), Tim Wylie (6), David Brown (10), David Hymas (4).


St Giles Church Lincoln Saturday 8th March 1986.
Left to right :Alan Long (Treble); Jack L. Millhouse (2); Tim Pett (6); Andrew Wilby (Tenor);
John R. Ketteringham, Conductor (3); Ian Butters (5); David Woodward (7); Timothy Wylie (4).   
The conductor's 1000th peal rung by coincidence on the 35th anniversary of his first peal.
Birthday Peals


St Giles Church Lincoln Saturday 3rd November 2001
5056 Lincolnshir
e Surprise Major
Rung for the composers 72nd birthday
Left to right : Timothy G. Pett (Conductor); Brian Harris; George Dawson;
John Ketteringham (Composer); Michael Crowder; Kingsley Mason; Reg Stretton; Ian Butters; Peter Sharp



Lincoln Cathedral 19th October 2002
5042 Cambridge Surprise Maximus
Rung for the composers 73rd birthday

Left to right : David Potter; Chris Turner; Richard Tibbetts; Ian Butters; Andrew Mills;
John Ketteringham (Composer); David Brown (Conductor); Peter Hayward; Roger Bailey; Michael Crowder; Tim Pett; Keith Buckingham; David Beacham.


20th September 2003
This band attempted a peal of Ketteringham Delight Major
 on ASCY peal day at St Giles, Lincoln, but lost it

Left to right :Graham Paul, Keith Walpole, David Kingman, Andrew Wilby, Michael Wilby, John Ketteringham (Composer), Peter Hayward, Keith Buckingham, Chris Turner (Conductor).
The Peal was arranged to mark John Ketteringham's fifty years membership of the Society.



18th October 2003
Lincoln Cathedral  3 hours 24 minutes
5042 Ketteringham Delight Maximus Composed by John R. Ketteringham
First peal of Maximus in the method. Arranged and rung to mark the 74th birthday of the composer 55 years membership of the LDG.
Back row left to right : George Dawson, Jeffrey Brannan, Chris Kippin
Middle row left to right : Paul Mounsey, David Dearnley, Heather Kippin, Robert Lee
Front Row left to right : Richard Tibbetts, David Rothera, Andrew Mills, Ian Butters, John Ketteringham, Chris Turner.

24th November 2003
Ancient Society of College Youths
at Sutton cum Lound
5056 Lincolnshire Surprise Major Composed by John R. Ketteringham


Left to right: John Coates, Keith Buckingham, John Underwood, David Holland, Chris Turner (Conductor), Dennis Smedley, John Ketteringham (Composer), John Ottaway, Brian Birkett
Arranged and rung to mark the 50th anniversary of the composer's election to the Society.



Saturday, 23 October 2004
 Lincoln Cathedral in 3 hours 19 minutes
5088 Yorkshire Surprise Maximus

Back row from left to right : Jeffrey Brannan (Manchester) 11; David Beacham (Worcester) 8; Nigel Thomson (Beddington, Surrey) 7, David Town (Northallerton) 10, John Hunt (Shaftsbury) 6, and Dennis Hewitt (Walthamstow) 9.
Front row left to right : Val Andrews (Westhoughton, Lancashire) 1, Andrew Stubbs (St Chads Birmingham,) 2, Jim Andrews (Westhoughton) 3, John Ketteringham, David Brown (Norwich) 4, Adam Greenley (York) 5 and Andrew Wilby (Towcester) 12.
Arranged to mark the 75th birthday of John Ketteringham and rung by a representative band of ringing friends.



Saturday 4 December 2004
at Grantham
5040 Bunkers Hill Delight Royal

Left to right : Keith Buckingham (Raithby, Lincs - 1); Jim Andrews (Westhoughton, Lancs - 9); Val Andrews (Westhoughton, Lancs - 4); Jeffrey Brannan (Manchester - 10); John Ketteringham; Nigel Thomson (Beddington, Surrey -6); Chris Turner (Stow, Lincs - 7); Nick Soanes (Beverley - 3); Richard J. W. Tibbetts (Harpenden) - 5);
Roger Bailey (Willesden - 2); Tim Pett (Abingdon - 8 Conductor).

First peal in the method. Arranged and rung to mark the 75th Birthday of John Ketteringham.


Friday 16 September 2005
Ancient Society of College Youths
At the church of St Giles Lincoln in 3 hours 5 minutes
5216 Yorkshire Surprise Major
Composed by John R. Ketteringham
Left to right : Christopher Turner (8 - conductor); John Ottaway (5); Chris Woodcock (7); John Ketteringham (composer); Brian Harris (1); Stuart Brown (3); Geoff Bryant (2); Nicholas Soanes (6); John Underwood (4)
Rung for the ASCY Peal weekend as a compliment to Geoff Bryant on completing 50 years membership of the Society.



Saturday 29 October 2005
At the Cathedral church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Lincoln in 3 hours 21 minutes
5042 Lincolnshire Delight Maximus
Composed by John R. Ketteringham
Back Row left to right : Jim Andrews (9); David Brown (3); Ian Butters (5 conductor); Tim Pett (6); Brian Harris (7); Chris Pickford (11)
Front Row left to right : David Town (8); Valerie Andrews (2); Ian Campbell (12); Jennie Town (1); John Ketteringham (composer); Michael Crowder (4); David Hird (10).

First peal of Maximus in the method: -3T-14-5T-16-7T-18-9T-10-ET-1T-78-9T le b

From Campanophile in June 2006: Congratulations John! After a break of 18 years from ringing we finally see Dr John R Ketteringham of Lincoln back on the end of a bell rope! On Monday 12th June, John and five other Central Branch members of the Lincoln Diocesan Guild went to St Michael's Church at Thorpe on the Hill and rang a Quarter Peal of Plain Bob Minor to mark his return to ringing. This was the first change ringing John had done on tower bells since 1988 when he had to stop due to ill health. We now look forward to seeing him ringing and taking part in activities around the branch. Well Done John and Welcome back!

JRK QP Thorpe

The band from left to right: Mick Stracey, Chris Woodcock,
Sue Waterfall, John Ketteringham, Margaret Parker, Phil Mason.
Christopher Woodcock

Birthday Peals On Saturday 28 October 2006 at the church of St Giles, Lincoln in 3 hours 5 minutes, 5056 changes of Lincolnshire Surprise Major composed by John R Ketteringham. Arranged and rung on the 77th Birthday of the composer.

Birthday Peal 2006

Back row : Martin J Kirk (Northallerton) 4; Peter Bridle (Thatcham) 8; Timothy G. Pett (Abingdon) Conductor 7; Michael Hatchett (Bampton) 3; William Butler (Thatcham) 2.
Front Row : David A Town (Northallerton) 5; JRK ; Tom L Blyth (Saxilby) 1; John F Underwood (Stow) 6.
By coincidence it is exactly 46 years since Peter Bridle rang his first peal (at Bristol Cathedral) in which John rang!


Birthday peal 2007

At Lincoln Cathedral

On Saturday 20 October 2007

In 3 hours 26 minutes

5042 Yorkshire Surprise Maximus

Composed by J R Ketteringham, No 143A

Birthday Peal 2007

Back : Ian Butters (12 - Conductor)

Left to right (middle) : Ian M Holland (9), William H. Dowse (8), William Butler (2), Barry Hendry (10), Matthew Dawson (5). 

Left to right (front) : Bernard F L Groves (11), Richard Tibbetts (1),  Tim Pett (6), Fiona Dawson (4), JRK, Geoffrey K Dodd (7), Mary S Faircloth (3).


Clifton, St Mary

Oln Saturday 27 October 2007

In 2 hours 36 minutes

 5056 Lincolnshire Surprise Major

Composed by J R Ketteringham


Birthday Peal 2007 at Clifton

Left to right : John Underwood  (7), Tom Blyth (1), Michael Hatchett (4),

William Butler (5 Conductor), Fiona Dawson (2), JRK, Matthew Dawson  (8),

 George Dawson (6), Philip Dawson (3).

To mark the composer's 78th birthday tomorrow.


Birthday peal 2008

Lincoln Cathedral

On Saturday 25 October 2008

In 3 hours 32 minutes

5042 Cambridge Surprise Maximus

Composed by J R Ketteringham

Birthday Peal 2008

Left to right back row :  Nicholas Soanes (3), Timothy Pett (2), Michael Moreton (5),

Richard Clements (10), Nigel Thomson (9), Andrew Wilby (11), Chris Pickford (12)

Front: Bernard Groves (4), Michael Clements (8), Richard Tibbetts (1), JRK, Andrew Stubbs (6), Michael Uphill (7)

Arranged and rung to mark the 79th birthday of John R Ketteringham.
Also remembering Michael Crowder and Keith Buckingham.

80th Birthday celebrations 2009

JRK hits the Big 80!

John Ketteringham, known to his many friends as JRK, has had a very active ringing career, not only in Lincolnshire where he was born, but in Derbyshire, Bristol, London and Worcester where his working life as a civil servant took him. By training, a horticulturalist and a member of the Royal Horticultural Society, his work for the government had nothing to do with that. However his prolific production of new methods and peal composition in the days of yore when men were men and composers sorted out false course heads by hand and brain without the aid of a computer made his name very well known in The Ringing World. John's ringing though suddenly ceased in the mid-1980s after major heart surgery. However his interest in bells was maintained particularly as a member of the Redundant Churches Uses Committee and as Bells Adviser to the Furnishings Officer for the Diocese of Lincoln. As a result many bells from redundant churches were saved and relocated, the last being the transfer of the ring of five bells from Aisthorpe to Boothby Pagnell. During this period he obtained a Doctorate in Ringing History and authored a number of books including his latest tome which is the Second Edition of Lincolnshire Bells and Bellfounders just published.

In order to keep in touch with his many friends with whom he used to ring, in 2001 John arranged a reunion peal at St Giles, Lincoln on the Saturday after his birthday. These 'reunion' peals have become an annual event although each year he says it's his last. So on Saturday 24th October two peals were rung in celebration of John's forthcoming 80th birthday, one at St John's Washingborough and the other at St Giles, Lincoln. Afterwards both bands were entertained to tea by John and Joan. The method for each peal was Ketteringham Delight Major, the method having first been rung at St John's Worcester for the Christening of Stephen, John and Joan's son.

John again says that this will be the last of the reunions but do we believe him? Whether one forgets or not to put it in the diary the summons to the Palace arrives and cannot be refused ... Oh and yes, talking of the Palace he has picked up an MBE from Her Majesty for services rendered on the way through his distinguished life as well.

The two peal bands L-R: Richard Inglis, Ian Campbell, George Dawson, Andrew Mills, Roger Bailey, Jennifer Town, Andrew Wilby, Peter Bridle, Nick Soanes, Tim Pett, Bill Butler, John Ketteringham, Ian Butters, David Brown, Michael Hatchett, David Town. (Missing Robert Jordan).

In 2006, after a change of medication, John decided to see if he could handle a bell again and thanks to Dot and Phil Mason's mini-ring at their home in Branston and then the light six at Thorpe on the Hill he returned to limited ringing. Eventually in 2007 he even rang three peals! A set back came in early 2008 when he had to undergo surgery again. A return to limited ringing this year led to regular quarter peals at suitable towers on a Monday morning.

On John's actual 80th birthday, two quarter peals were arranged at Potterhanworth and Scothern, with the bands consisting of those who had supported the 'Monday Band'.

John's wife with assistance from Amie Burkitt was busy at 27 Bunkers Hill preparing refreshments which were very much appreciated.

The quarter-pealers, from left to right: Heather Peachey, Barry Peachey, Sylvia Taylor, Chris Woodcock, Fiona Dawson, Mick Stracey, JRK, John Collett, John Nicholson, David Burkitt, Kate Morgan. (Missing Robert Jordan).

Andrew Wilby



John Ketteringham’s 81st Birthday Reunion 2010

And so it was that time of year again, the end of October, and ringers from all over the country were gathering in Lincolnshire on Saturday 23rd October to celebrate John Ketteringham’s 81st birthday. It did not feel that long ago that many of us were gathered here to celebrate John’s 80th birthday, however a year had passed, invites had been sent out and the peals lined up!


It was decided this year that there would be three simultaneous peal attempts of Major. There were two peal attempts of Lincolnshire Surprise Major one at St John’s Washingborough and the other at All Saints Harmston and a peal attempt of Double Norwich Court Bob Major at St Giles Lincoln. I am happy to say that all three peals were scored in fine style with some very good ringing and I am told that John did manage to get over to St Giles to listen to some of the ringing.


Of course as is usual we were all summonsed back to 27 Bunkers Hill Lincoln to John’s home for the annual group photo which this year was nearly taken in the dark! Also as is usual John’s wife Joan had put on a lovely spread and somehow kept all our cups full with tea and coffee, Thank you Joan! I am not sure how we managed to squeeze 24 ringers into the house, I know this was something John was worried about and had said on a few occasions beforehand that some may have to sit on the stairs, however enough space was found … just!


There was much reminiscing during the evening and John very much enjoyed catching up with all his old friends. Apparently this year’s reunion was centred around those ringers with whom John had rung peals with mainly in the 1960s, whilst he was down in London. I am told that ringers this year had travelled from as far afield as Somerset, Hampshire, and Lancashire to name just a few.    Margaret Chapman from Marston Bigot had probably travelled the furthest and was delighted to add to her collection of mini-rings by ringing quarter peals at Woodside Branston and Chedburgh Lincoln before taking part in the peal at Harmston.


Last year we were told by John that there would be no more birthday peals but I don’t think any of us believed him, and here we are again! This year I am told that the bells have been booked for next years peal so I suspect we will be doing this all over again!


Lincoln Diocesan Guild          


Saturday 23rd October 2010 in 2 hrs 46

5056 Lincolnshire Surprise Major

Comp: J R Ketteringham (No 125A)


1. Christopher J Sharp (C)     

2. Patricia A M Halls   

3. Val A Andrews       

4. Philip R Wild           

5. Ken Warner  

6. Barrie Hendry         

7. Graham C Paul       

8. James E Andrews   

Lincoln Diocesan Guild

All Saints, HARMSTON, Lincs

Saturday 23rd October 2010 in 2 hrs 44

5152 Lincolnshire Surprise Major

Comp: R J Angrave


1. Margaret E L Chapman

2. William Butler

3. Martin Press

4. Nicholas D Soanes

5. Timothy G Pett

6. Christopher C P Woodcock (C)

7. Robert H Jordan

8. Andrew B Mills

Lincoln Diocesan Guild

St Giles, LINCOLN, Lincs

Saturday 23rd October 2010 in 3 hrs 4

5008 Double Norwich Court Bob Major

Comp: J R Ketteringham (No 43A)

1. Christopher J Pickford

2. Lawrence R H Smith

3. Anthony K Fortin

4. Ian Butters (C)

5. Christopher P Turner

6. Robert M Wood

7. Peter G Holden

8. Graham A Duke

The assembled ringers

Left to right : Bill Butler (Thatcham), Chris Woodcock (Potterhanworth), Tim Pett (Abingdon), Nick Soanes (Beverley), Lawrence Smith (Aylsham), Tony Fortin (Westbury), Ken Warner (Hursley), John Ketteringham (Birthday Boy), Ian Butters (Nottingham), Martin Press (Hursley), Jim Andrews (Westhoughton), Chris Sharp (Londonthorpe), Robert Wood (Hull), Val Andrews (Westhoughton), Chris Pickford (Kinver), Patricia Halls (Derby), Margaret Chapman (Marston Bigot), Peter Holden (Cirencester), Robert Jordan (Hessle), Andrew Mills (Shelford), Ben Duke (St Albans). Missing : Graham Paul (Towcester), Chris Turner (Stow), Barrie Hendry (Wedmore) and Phil Wild (Gedling). (Sadly Graham, Barrie & Phil were still trying to find somewhere to park when the photo was being taken!)

However this was not the end of John’s birthday celebrations as on his actual birthday (Thursday 28th October) John had organised a quarter peal at St. Peter’s Scotter with some of the ringers who ring in his Monday morning quarter peals. The conductor decided we would ring Ketteringham Surprise Minor (what else!) and John rang the treble. A very good quarter was scored in an interesting and different method to say the least, being first blows in the method for all the band!


Lincoln Diocesan Guild

St Peter, SCOTTER, Lincs

Thursday 28th October 2010 in 44 mins

1320 Ketteringham Surprise Minor


1. John R Ketteringham

2. Fiona M Dawson

3. David Fox

4. Janet M Clarke

5. Robert H Jordan

6. Christopher C P Woodcock (C)

The 1/4 peal band

Left to right back : David Fox, Chris Woodcock, Robert Jordan.

Left to right front : Fiona Dawson, John Ketteringham, Janet Clarke.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN!                                                                                     CCPW



John Ketteringham’s 82nd Birthday Reunion 2011

Each year since 2001 I have arranged a peal on the nearest Saturday  to my birthday as a reunion with those with whom I used to ring. This year the peal was of Stedman Cinques at Lincoln Cathedral on 29 October which was the day after my 82nd birthday. Unfortunately the conductor was distracted and miscalled the final turning course. Although this was rapidly sorted out and the peal came round it was false!

I always find it very humbling and emotive that my friends travel in many cases long distances to take part in these reunions and I am very grateful to them - it means a great deal to me.

There was also a peal at Caythorpe on the actual day, which consisted mostly of those who ring in my Monday morning quarter peals. Also on the Saturday I had arranged the towers for peals at Ingoldmells and Burgh le Marsh and these, together with a peal conducted by my friend  David Hird at Saltby, were credited to my birthday - I am grateful to  everyone concerned.

Lincoln Diocesan Guild

Caythorpe, St. Vincent

Friday 28 October 2011 in 2 hrs 55 mins (10-3-3)

5056 Lincolnshire Surprise Major

Composed: John R Ketteringham (No. 125)

1   Fiona M Dawson
2   Ian Butters
3   Philip R Wild
4   Robert M Wood
5   David E Hibbert
6   Philip R Grover
7   Robert H Jordan
8   Christopher C P Woodcock (C)

Rung with the bands best wishes to John R Ketteringham

 on his 82nd birthday.       First peal in the method: 5.

Society of Rambling Ringers

Ingoldmells, St. Peter & Paul

Saturday 29 October 2011 in 3 hrs 10 mins (13-3-26)

5184 Cambridge Surprise Major

Composer: Thomas Perrins

1   S Geoffrey Pick
2   Christopher Birkby
3   Christine H Hasman
4   Ian Hasman
5   Philip R Wild
6   Michael J Dew
7   H Geoffrey Wells
8   Christopher C P Woodcock (C)

Rung to celebrate the 82nd birthday yesterday of John R Ketteringham.

John rang in the first peal for the Society in 1955.

Rung also remembering past members of the Society, especially Denis Mottershead

who always organised this annual Society peal on the last Saturday in October.

First peal of Major at first attempt: 3 & 4.

Society of Rambling Ringers

Burgh-le-Marsh, Sts. Peter & Paul

Saturday 29 October 2011 in 2 hrs 49 mins (17-2-4)

5040 Grandsire Triples

Composer: Thomas Thurstans

1   Yvonne A Woodcock
2   S Geoffrey Pick
3   Margaret E Snyder
4   Stephen L Clarke
5   Philip R Wild
6   Christopher C P Woodcock (C)
7   Michael J Dew
8   H Geoffrey Wells

Rung to celebrate the 82nd birthday yesterday of John R Ketteringham.

John rang in the first peal for the Society in 1955.

Special thanks to Stephen Clarke for standing in at short notice and to Yvonne Woodcock for standing in at even shorter notice this morning!

First peal of Triples to be rung for the Society.  First peal on eight at first attempt: 1. 50th peal together: 6 & 8.

Non Association

Saltby, St Peter

Saturday 29 October 2011 in 2h 55m (12)

5040 Lincolnshire Surprise Royal

Composer: P Border

1    Andrew Davey
2    Mary S Faircloth
3    Robert P Wood
4    Laura M Davies
5    Emma J Southerington
6    Alistair J Cherry
7    Neil Bennett
8    Philip R Grover
9    Paul M Mason
10   David Hird(C)

1st peal on 10 - 6. An 82nd birthday compliment to John Ketteringham.

The Cathedral Band

Standing left to right : Richard Inglis (11 - Edinburgh), Jim Andrews  (12 - Westhoughton),

Michael Clements (9 - Norfolk), Richard Clements  (6 - Malvern), Graham Colbourn (10 - Lincoln)

Sitting left to right : Graham Firman (4 - Maidenhead), Tim Pett (7 - Abingdon), JRK,

Ken Warner (2 - Southampton), Michael Uphill (5C -   London), Michael Moreton (3 - London)

Missing - Nigel Thomson (8 - Sussex), Chris Sharp (1 - Grantham)




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