Guild Library

History of the Library

In 1954 the Guild elected a professional Librarian, Raymond F Smith of Waddington, as its first Librarian. The records suggest that the Guild owned just one book at that time. This was a copy of North's Church Bells of Lincolnshire given to the Guild by the relatives of the late Mr J R Mackman of Spalding.

With Ray Smith's expert knowledge more books were soon added. There followed a generous donation of books, pamphlets, manuscripts and a bookcase from the estate of Mr Charles McGuiness. In 1960 it was agreed that the Librarian should become a member of the Guild Committee.

In the early 1970s many years' copies of the Ringing World had been accumulated and it was decided that, in order to preserve them, they should be bound in leather. This practice still continues and the Guild is fortunate to have members willing and able to do the binding.

The second Librarian was elected in 1974 after Ray Smith and his wife were killed in a car accident. Owen Northwood of Nettleham was also a professional librarian. He took on the job for two years during which time he added Central Council publications to the collection.

In 1976 Mr Frederick W Pinchbeck was elected Librarian and the collection was moved to his house where it remained until the mid eighties. A printer by trade, he took on the job of binding the volumes of the Ringing World which he did for many years and also trained his successor Mr Philip Reynolds. He was followed by Mr Vaughan P Evans, who also bound copies of the Ringing World, for which we are very grateful, until his death in 2007. Mr Pinchbeck also started to record individual tower peal records as part of his role as Librarian.

He was succeeded in 1983 by the Revd Nicholas De Keyser who held the post for just two years.

The job was then taken on by another professional librarian, Miss Betty Millhouse, sister of Mr Jack Millhouse. She started to draw up an inventory of the contents of the library, but failing health forced her to resign in 1989 before the task was completed.

Mrs Barbara Clipsham was then elected librarian and at that time the library was moved to Lincoln Cathedral and eventually to the Ringing Chamber where it remains. This move was made possible by kind permission of the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln Cathedral under the auspices of our then President, Dean Fiennes.

Following Barbara's untimely death in 1996, Mrs Judith Williamson was elected as the seventh Librarian of the Lincoln Diocesan Guild. She has been collecting photographic evidence of peal boards, updating the library inventory and keeping the tower and handbell peal records up to date.

At the AGM in 2008 Judy stood down, having moved away, and Mrs Delia E Heppenstall was elected to the post.

Anyone interested in visiting the library or borrowing books should contact the Librarian.