In memoriam — Mike Collett (Warden Hill)

Mike Collett. 29/09/1933 – 12/10/2019

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C. F. Michael (Mike) Collett was born in Burford on 29th September 1933. He joined Burford church initially as a choir boy but soon after the ringing ban was lifted, he and his older brother John began learning to ring (25th March 1945). They were elected members of the band on 29/3/1946. Before the end of that year he rang his first quarter 20/10/1946 (Treble to 1288 Grandsire Triples), nearly six months before John. John recounted this during ringing after Mike’s funeral saying he was reminded of it all his life. On 7th May 1947 Mike suffered a freak accident which robbed him of the sight of his right eye. This was just 3 days before he was due to attempt his first peal. Despite the gravity of the injury he was ringing again by 8th June. His first quarter inside on 6th July (Grandsire) and then a week later a quarter of Plain Bob Major. On 2nd August 1947, at the age of 13, Mike rang his first peal, Grandsire Triples at Witney. Not prolific peal ringer Mike rang 51 ranging from Doubles to Cinques with the majority on 8. 34 for the ODG between 1947 and 1998, 9 for Winc. & Port, 8 for the G&B. Peal boards around Burford record C.F.M Collett, in fact in a lot of different formats, C.F Michael, Michael C.F and Michael amongst others.

Mike had been Tower Captain for the Church in Burford for several years and many ringers are very grateful for his teaching. He came to ring here in St. Christopher’s, where he became a very important part of the team, holding various offices over the years. Mike never kept records so we can only guess at his quarters total. I do know that he rang over 500 after he retired to Cheltenham in 2002.

This was a second retirement, he and Marj (they married in 1956) and a peal at Burford on 3/8/1998 was to thank Mike for 50 year’s service to Burford and best wishes for their retirement to The Isle of Wight.

On 3rd September 2015 a joint band from Cheltenham and Burford rang a quarter at Burford to commemorate 70 years ringing for both John and Mike.

He had a wonderful calmness and rhythm, and a great memory for the ringing methods. Not much missed his eye, and he would quietly help and encourage us all.

During the last three years he coped with his illness with great courage and Margery was the most wonderful support. We all thank God for the privilege of knowing him and pray for Margery and the family- How we do all miss him. May he rest in the peace of Christ.

Open ringing was held after the wake at St. Christopher’s Warden Hill and a large number of family members joined in, including brother John, his sons, their wives and other family members.

Reg Hitchings and Revd Canon Owen Barraclough

Quarter peals from link and additional quarter at Burford 30/11/2019

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Associated performances

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30 Nov 2019 Burford (St John the Baptist) 1260 Grandsire Triples
31 Oct 2019 Leonard Stanley (Erica Magnis Campanis) 1308 Grandsire Minor
29 Oct 2019 Cheltenham, Warden Hill (St Christopher) 1260 Doubles (2m)
20 Oct 2019 Cheltenham, Warden Hill (St Christopher) 1300 Plain Bob Doubles
18 Oct 2019 Cheltenham (The Bicycle Ring) 1260 Doubles (1m/9v)
18 Oct 2019 Cheltenham (The Bicycle Ring) 1260 Grandsire Doubles
17 Oct 2019 Ypres (St George) 1280 Cambridge Surprise Major
16 Oct 2019 Leckhampton (St Peter) 1320 Double Oxford Bob Minor
15 Oct 2019 Leonard Stanley (Erica Magnis Campanis) 1260 Doubles
14 Oct 2019 Standish (Alta Kabano) 1260 Doubles
14 Oct 2019 Standish (Alta Kabano) 1260 Grandsire Doubles