In memoriam — James Linnell

James Linnell Obituary

Jim grew up in Whittlebury, Northamptonshire, he learnt to handle a bell as a youngster in 1943 with Charlie Truman. Later he taught David Burbidge to ring at Saint Mary’s church at Whittlebury. Jim was also a member of the choir at Whittlebury and later became a churchwarden.

William Yates met Jim and introduced him to change ringing primarily on the six at Helmdon, Northants. In the late 50’s the Monday evening practice at Helmdon was considered one of the most advanced in the Peterborough Guild with Surprise Minor regularly rung. Jim’s first peal was of Plain Bob Minor on the treble at Sulgrave on 19th December 1957, conducted by William Yates and rung to mark the first birthday of Bill’s son Richard.

In March 1968 Jim rang a peal of seven Minor methods at Lois Weedon with Betty Mansfield, conducted by Charlie Truman. Betty later married Jim on 10th December 1970.

In the late sixties and early seventies Jim was an active member of Raving Ringers and rang on numerous ringing tours with Ron K Russ, Barry Saunders, Ray Vickers, Barry Eglesfield and others. One of the significant tours was to Ireland in 1970.

‘Yates goes west’ tours as they became known were annual events organised by Bill Yates and took place over a number of years in the sixties until 1970. Towers visited included Exeter Cathedral, Wells Cathedral, Chewton Mendip, Ditcheat, Ilminster and other Somerset & Devon towers. The tours also visited Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Jim organised much of the ringing which usually started with immaculately struck Stedman and included standard Surprise Major and Royal. Cambridge S Maximus was rung during a visit to Surfleet.

He was elected a member of the Ancient Society of College Youths on 11th February 1959, proposed by William Yates and seconded by Herbert C Edwards, his election being ratified on 7th March 1959, proposed by Alf Peck and seconded by Albert Hughes.

Jim rang a total of 428 peals and conducted one, all were on church bells. 184 were rung with the Peterborough Diocesan Guild and 177 with the South Northamptonshire Society, Seven peals were rung with the Ancient Society of College Youths. His first ASCY peal was on the eight at Woburn in November 1960. He rang 24 peals of Surprise Maximus and helped 25 ringers ring their first peal including Charlie Truman, Richard Yates, and Barry Eglesfield. Jim scored most (54) peals at Saint Mary, Easton Neston, Northamptonshire.

A notable ASCY peal was rung in April,1983 of Stedman Doubles on the challenging old six at Towcester, conducted by Charlie Truman, with Alan and Graham Paul, Richard Yates, and Barry E Saunders.

Jim’s last ASCY peal was of 5039 changes of Grandsire Caters at Holy Cross, Daventry in September 1995, conducted by Richard C Stevens and in fond remembrance of the composer of the peal, Charles H Kippin.

Jim took up the position of Ringing Master at Greens Norton when Arthur Mansfield died in 1981. He served as Towcester Branch Steward from 1973 to 1977 and Ringing Master from 1981 to 1985.

Jim was a man with many talents and interests, Gardening, Singing, Fishing and Wine making to name a few. One vintage of his Elderflower wine is still talked about today by those who sampled a few too many glasses. Above all bell ringing has been ever present in his life, he had a keen ear, an elegant and economic ringing style that eludes many ringers, a real ringing talent.

Led by Alan Paul we will raise a glass and remember Jim and many others that have gone before him at our regular weekly gathering at The George, Tiffield.

Jim was much loved and will be missed by many. He is now reunited with his loving and much loved wife Betty. May he rest in peace.

Nigel Williams October 2023

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Associated performances

Found 16 associated performances. Filter

1 Oct 2023Cold Higham (St Luke)1260 Plain Bob Doubles
29 Sep 2023Paulerspury (St James the Apostle)1260 Plain Bob Minor
28 Sep 2023Gayton (St Mary)1272 London Surprise Minor
28 Sep 2023Potterspury (St Nicholas)1296 Cambridge Surprise Minor
27 Sep 2023Blisworth (St John the Baptist)1260 Doubles (2m)
26 Sep 2023Whittlebury (St Mary)1260 Doubles (3m)
25 Sep 2023Easton Neston (St Mary)1280 Cambridge Surprise Major
24 Sep 2023Ashton (St Michael and All Angels)1260 Plain Bob Doubles
24 Sep 2023Bradden (St Michael)1260 Plain Bob Doubles
23 Sep 2023Greens Norton (St Bartholomew)1260 Plain Bob Doubles
19 Sep 2023Cold Higham (St Luke)1320 Cambridge Surprise Minor
17 Sep 2023Greens Norton (St Bartholomew)Call Changes
17 Sep 2023Greens Norton (St Bartholomew)120 Grandsire Doubles
17 Sep 2023Greens Norton (St Bartholomew)120 Plain Bob Doubles
17 Sep 2023Orlingbury (St Mary)5040 Surprise Minor (7m)
15 Sep 2023Towcester (St Lawrence)250 Stedman Cinques