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Fran Brealey 1938 - 2021

Fran Brealey was a good friend to ringers and the ringing community; always there to welcome, with open arms, visiting ringers to Welbourn in Lincolnshire. A long-standing church warden Fran did not ring herself but her surviving husband, Reg, did learn to ring as a youngster at Heckington near Sleaford. Such was their love for bells that in 1978 Fran and Reg financed the transfer of a ring of eight bells from the collapsed tower at Hagworthingham in the Lincolnshire Wolds to their own parish church of Saint Chad, Welbourn. Thereafter they did all they could to encourage the ringing of the eight bells. Indeed, since their installation in 1978 a total of 136 peals have been rung at the tower.

Fran was born in 1938 in Wembley, London. Her family experienced the full force of the blitz, her mother being killed and Fran was briefly evacuated to Berkshire. The family moved from London to Norwich in her teens and Fran trained as a nurse at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Midwifery brought her to Lincoln where she met Reg, spending the early years of their marriage in Wellingore before moving to Welbourn. - To those fortunate enough to have known Fran it would come as no surprise to find she was a caring professional.

Fran died unexpectedly on the 20th December 2021. Her private family funeral took place at Welbourn on the 7th January and she was buried there in the churchyard. The bells were rung half muffled both before and after the service and interment, a quarter peal of Lincolnshire S Major being rung prior to the bells being diminished for the service. Each of the ringers had a connection and personal memories of Fran. May she rest in peace.

Chris Sharp