Obituary - Nan Colley

Obituary - Nancie E. (Nan) Colley
23rd June 1928 - 12th August 2010

Nan Colley, widow of Ted Colley of Caistor, died peacefully in Lincoln Couty Hospital. She was 82 years old, and survived her husband by less than six weeks.

She was born in Scunthorpe on 23rd June 1928, the eldest of three sisters, and the family then lived in the parish of St Giles, Lincoln. She attended Manchester University to read Maths and then went on to Cambridge to do her teacher training at a time when it was not common for girls to attend University and graduate. Nan became a teacher and taught at various schools about the country. It was while teaching in Boston that Nan learned to ring, and it was through bell ringing that she met Ted and when they were married fifty four years ago they lived at Reading in a caravan.

Nan was extremely well versed in her strong Christian faith and was very much part of the church. As well as being an active member of Grasby and Caistor ringing teams until only a few weeks before she died, she had been Church Warden at Grasby, a member of Caistor PCC, the Deanery Synod and Deanery Planning group. She regularly reminded them that if we don't ground our church life in prayer we are wasting our time'. As well as in her faith she was very knowledgeable about a whole range of things. She was a skilled gardener, cook and needleworker, and along with Ted she was no mean carpenter and joiner either, working with him in the production of bell wheels and stays in the workshop at Caistor. She was also associated with the Girl Guide movement all her life, finally serving as the local District Commissioner.

Her ringing career was one of quiet service rather than one of prominence. She was a standard method ringer who did not aspire to advanced Surprise or ringing on higher numbers. Nan always believed that the priority was having the bells rung on Sundays. Service to her family and to others was Nan's watchword. She was an active member of the Guild and during her thirty five years in Lincolnshire served in all kinds of Branch posts, particularly as Branch Treasurer, where her mathematical skills stood her in good stead - using them also to good use as Church Treasurer and managing the Guides accounts. She did not ring many peals, but she liked quarter peal ringing, mostly to help learners at all levels, or for very special occasions. She was tireless in helping others, and was a strong supporter of the monthly Lincolnshire lady's group, where new ringers are encouraged.

Nan never got irate about anything. She was a firm believer that if you didn't have anything good to say about someone, then don't say anything. On many occasions a quiet word from her would resolve a matter more quickly than any puffing about. Many people have cause to be grateful to her, and she will be greatly missed.

May she rest in peace.

Margaret Parker