With great sadness we have to announce the death of Martin Powell on 25-January-2018. Martin's funeral is to be held at Hanbury on Friday 16th February at 2:30, then for anyone who may want to go, at Worcester Crematorium at 4pm. 4:30 onwards The Swan at Whittington. Old Road Whittington WR5 2RL in the function room upstairs.
The bells are to be rung open from 1.45 with the Hanbury band ringing the final touch, then after the service for as long as his friends wish.
Martin was one of the great stalwarts of the Worcestershire & Districts Change Ringing Association. He was elected as a member of St Peter's, Droitwich on 5th March 1960 and was listed at either Droitwich, Dodderhill or Hanbury from thence.
He rang his first peal at Droitwich on 4th January 1961. The average age of that band was 15 years and included Jeremy Tandy (1st peal), James Pullon, Martin & Michael Fellows and Paul Cattermole. In total, he rang 479 peals between 1961 and 2000, conducting 55 of them. Of these, most were eight bell peals, but he rang over 60 on ten and almost 40 on twelve. He was a capable all-rounder, ringing mainly with the Worcestershire & Districts Association - with Michael and Martin Fellows, Cliff Skidmore, Gerald Hemming, Alan Hartley and the like. He rang 90 of his peals at Hanbury and 38 at Dodderhill, with Stourbridge, Amblecote, Stoke Prior, Evesham and Brierley Hill among his other leading towers. He was also a member of the Ancient Society of College Youths and rang four peals with the Society.
He was associated throughout his ringing life with two principal towers - Dodderhill and Hanbury. These are two of Worcestershire's best rings - first class Taylor eights of the 1930s. After a considerable battle he succeeded in getting Hanbury bells rehung in a new frame in 2000. Unfortunately, the new bells had been installed in the old frame in 1939 and the heritage authorities were keen to preserve it. It took him almost seven years to get permission for a new frame, but his persistence paid off. He also had Dodderhill bells refurbished some years earlier and there is a framed letter in the tower from ringing legend Gerald Hemming congratulating him on the job.
Martin was a positive force for ringing in the Droitwich area, always keen to encourage ringing activity and to keep his towers available for peal attempts. He continued to be the contact for Hanbury until very recently and this kept him in touch with ringing and with visiting bands. For a time he was General Secretary of the Worcestershire & Districts Association and, when he was Librarian, the library lived in his office in Bromsgrove where he was an estate agent. He also served as Master and Deputy Master of the Western Branch.
With his passing we have lost a notable local character, and a ringer who will be remembered for his substantial contribution to ringing in the area. Martin married Joy Bing on 28th November 1970 in Sidemoor Methodist Church Bromsgrove. He leaves a son, Andrew, daughter-in-law Sam and grandsons Oliver & William.
with thanks to Chris Pickford.
Document last modified 04-Feb-2018