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Obituary - Fred Derry

Obituary - Frederick "Fred" Derry
(24th May 1928 - 19th Aug 2010)

The name Fred Derry has been closely associated with Brant Broughton & Grandsire Doubles by ringers in Lincolnshire & Nottinghamshire for the past 50 years. Fred had been tower captain at St Helenís Brant Broughton for over 50 years and in that time he had ensured there had been a local band to keep this heavy peal of bells ringing on a regular basis! He was still attending practices each week at Brant Broughton up till earlier this year, when ill health meant he was no longer able. He was also still ringing the 23 cwt tenor on a regular basis until only a few years ago.

On 21st February 1959 Fred rang in and conducted the first peal on the bells at Brant Broughton after they were rehung in 1957. This was the first peal to be rung by a local Sunday Service band and was also Fredís first peal as conductor, and was of course Grandsire Doubles! In total Fred rang over 200 peals with more than 80 of them being Grandsire Doubles and he conducted over 70 peals with more than 50 being Grandsire Doubles. As you can tell Grandsire Doubles was a favorite of Fredís!

Fred rang over 50 peals on the bells at Brant Broughton alone and is the leading peal ringer on these bells. There has been an annual Armistice peal each year (apart from 1974 which was probably lost) at Brant Broughton between 1958 & 1997 and Fred has rung in all 39, calling 26 of them! Fredís last peal was in 2000 at Brant Broughton being Grandsire Doubles which he called for Armistice Day. This was a very special peal for Fred as it was his 40th Armistice peal at Brant Broughton, something which he was very proud of. He was also very proud to be presented to H.R.H. Prince Charles the Prince of Wales on his recent visit to St Helenís Brant Broughton in 2009.

Fred also rang around 450 quarter peals with his last being at Fulbeck in 2007 (again being Grandsire Doubles with Fred calling it).Over the years Fred has taught many ringers to ring not only at Brant Broughton but at many of the towers in the area. He has also attended practice nights on a regular basis at many of these local towers and his support has been greatly appreciated. Fred was much loved and respected by all who knew him and he will be greatly missed. His legacy & memory however lives on with the continued ringing of the bells at Brant Broughton which he so loved!

It was not surprising to see the Church full at Brant Broughton for the service of Thanksgiving in memory of Fred on Wednesday 1st September 2010. As expected the bells were rung half muffled both before and after the service, and of course ringing included Grandsire Doubles, what else!

(Below you can see a recent photo of Fred pictured with the local band at Brant Broughton and a photo of St Helenís Church Brant Broughton. Please click on the pictures for a larger image.)

Yvonne & Christopher Woodcock

Fred pictured with the local band at Brant
Broughton. Fred is on the far right
St. Helenís Church Brant Broughton, 6 bells,
Tenor: 23 cwt - 2 qrs - 6 lbs in Eb