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Raymond F Smith

On August 13, 1973, whilst returning home from holiday, Raymond and Doreen Smith of Waddington, Lincoln were killed when their car was involved in a head-on collision with an articulated lorry on the Lincoln-Newark road some seven miles from Lincoln.

The news of this calamity was a great shock to members of the Lincoln Guild and to the Lincoln ringers in particular, for Raymond was a well-known figure on the Lincoln ringing scene for many years.

Raymond Smith was born in Lincoln and educated at the City School, Lincoln. He was a Fellow of the Library Association and since 1961 had been Lincoln's Chief Assistant Librarian. For some years he had edited the national publication "Fiction Index" and he was secretary of the Tennyson Society.

He rang his first peal - one of Minor - on May 14, 1937 for the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth having been recruited to ring the treble at a minute's notice. Shortly after he became a member of the company of ringers at Lincoln Cathedral. In later years he not only rang regularly at the Cathedral but also at the six. bell tower at Waddington where he lived. He was a competent ringer on all numbers of bells and had rung peals of Surprise Maximus, including Londinium. In 1954 he rang in a peal of Spliced Surprise Major in 32 methods which, whilst it was not a record, was a 'near-miss' for those days.

He had filled the role of Librarian for the Lincoln Diocesan Guild since the creation of the office and was a member of the Guild Committee. In the Committee, his opinion counted for much for he brought to the discussions a great deal of, common sense and experience.

Raymond was a lecturer on bellringing of no mean ability and he was frequently called upon to speak on the subject to local organisations. Whenever he did, he insisted that he should be paid a fee. A fee which was, without fail. paid immediately into the funds of the Lincoln Guild and appeared in the accounts simply as "Donations" with no reference to the source.

In addition to ringing he had other interests notably sailing and amateur dramatics. He had long experience of sailing on inland waters and more recently had taken to crewing on a sea-going vessel. His interest in amateur dramatics dated from his school days and during the war, in India it led him to be stage manager for an ENSA group under the command of the late Mr. Jack Hawkins.

His professional knowledge, his wide range of interests coupled with a lively intelligence and an easy personality - no one can recall ever seeing him ill-tempered - made him an excellent companion and one who could add sparkle to a social occasion. In all these things he was encouraged and assisted by his wife Doreen.

The tolling of Great Tom of Lincoln is reserved for the passing of national figures and those who have contributed much to the life of the local community or the church in the Diocese of Lincoln. On Tuesday. August 14, 1973 Great Tom was tolled for Raymond Ferguson Smith.