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Arthur Crowder – A Personal Tribute

From John R Ketteringham

There have been Crowders farming in Barrow-on-Humber, Lincolnshire for very many years and at least five generations have been bellringers at Holy Trinity church. Arthur lived for the whole of his 98 years in Barrow except for a short time towards the end of his life when he moved to neighbouring Barton on Humber. Ever since the restoration and augmentation of Barrow bells in 1953 this excellent eight has attracted ringers for peal attempts, outings and meetings from a wide area and the generosity and hospitality of Arthur, and his wife, Kathleen became legendary. With Kathleen and Arthur and their children Michael, Margaret and James all ringing, there was a good band at Barrow which rang twice on a Sunday for many years and also practised on a Thursday. Barrow and the Crowder family became well known to the bellringing fraternity not only in Lincolnshire but further afield. Arthur and Kathleen’s services to bellringing was recognised when, in 2000, Honorary Life Membership of the Guild was conferred upon them. 

I first came to know Arthur and his eldest son Michael when attending ringing meetings in the Northern branch of the LDG and later when I moved to work in Lincoln and they attended practices at the Cathedral. Eventually I was invited to stay for weekends at Manor Farm and we all three took part in several peal attempts.

Arthur and Kathleen were married for 66 years. Sadly both Kathleen and Michael predeceased Arthur. Michael died in December 2006, and so sadly there are no longer bellringing Crowders living in Barrow.

Arthur’s funeral was at Holy Trinity church on 13 July 2007.  The number of those attending amply demonstrated the affection with which he was held in Lincolnshire and beyond.