Rupert Richardson 1883 - 1947
Rupert Richardson was born at Meanwood, Leeds on 21 August 1883. When nine years of age he came with his parents to Surfleet and later was taught to ring by Revd Law James. In 1923 he married Annie Parkin who was a ringer at Woodston, Peterborough. Their only child, Mrs Enid Wayman, still lives at Surfleet and she presented the Taylor Trophy to the winning band at the National Twelve Bell Striking Competition in 2003.
Rupertís first peal was of Grandsire Triples at Swineshead on 14 September 1901 and his first as conductor was of Plain Bob Major at Fulney on 14 February 1903. He rang a total of 782 peals, 568 on tower bells and 214 on handbells, conducting 194.
Many of his peals were 'firsts' and these included the first of Stedman Triples by a resident band and the first ever spliced peal in 14 minor methods in 7 extents. He also rang in the only two peals of Surfleet Treble Bob Caters ever rung. Rupert took part in a handbell peal rung in bed and in a peal rung by churchwardens. The only eight bell tower in the county in which he had not rung a peal was Burgh-le-Marsh.
Rupert was a farmer and bulb grower and his business often took him to Covent Garden. He made many friends amongst the London bellringers and took part in ringing tours throughout the country. He took part in the famous 'Great Adventure' tour in 1934 which was arranged to revive and encourage the practice of change-ringing in Australia. He considered a peal of Grandsire Cinques at Melbourne Cathedral in which six ringers from the UK and six Australian ringers took part as his most important. (The photograph above, kindly supplied by his family, was taken for his passport for that trip).
A member of the Lincoln Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers since its inauguration in 1899, he was elected Master in 1933, and held that office for the remainder of his life. He represented the Guild on the Central Council of Church Bellringers for 44 years and was a member of the Council's Standing Committee for 11 years.
A big man in every sense of the word, large of body, large of mind, and large of heart, he was held in affectionate admiration by all who knew him. A fitting memorial to such a man is the extra bell which was added to the peal in Lincoln Cathedral, inscribed with the closing words of the last Psalm, "Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord."
Mr and Mrs Richardson's daughter Enid Wayman presenting the Taylor Trophy
at the 2003 National Twelve Bell Striking Competition final held at Surfleet