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Obituary: Richard Till

Obituary: Dr Richard Till - Messingham - North Lincolnshire - July 1984 - Jan 2010

Those who knew Richard well were aware of his abilities in many different fields; but it was his good humour and warm personality that struck a chord most of all with those he met. Richard had recently started working as a junior doctor at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital where senior colleagues said he was very highly thought of by all members of the team.

It was inevitable that Richard would learn to ring. With both parents bellringers, he and Jemma, his sister, became the fourth generation of the Till family to learn. He attended ringing meetings from being just weeks old!

Richard started learning to ring at Messingham and became a member of the Lincoln Diocesan Guild whilst still at Primary School. He progressed quickly and soon rang in quarter peals with the local band. A good sense of rhythm and an agile brain are qualities that make a good ringer. Richard had both of these in abundance. Always modest about his achievements, he didnít keep any records, so we donít know how many quarter peals he rang. He enjoyed ringing and conducting quarters on tower and handbells, particularly those which presented him with a stimulating challenge - complex methods, spliced, or helping a new learner through their first quarter.

He rang 17 full peals, 4 of which he conducted. These were all on tower bells. He couldnít be persuaded to ring a handbell peal as he thought that this would be too long to sit in one place and potentially boring! The 17 peals included spliced surprise, from minor to Royal. The peal that he was possibly the most proud of was his first peal which he also conducted. This was a great achievement in itself, but even more significantly it was a peal rung by a band of teenagers which also included two other ringers who were ringing their first peal.

Richard was a very loyal member of the West Lindsey branch of the LDGCB and of his home tower at Messingham. He could be relied upon to help out with learners, and was a member of the towerís talented band which has won the Branch and Guildís Striking competition on many occasions in recent years.

Young ringersí activity days have become a feature of the life of the West Lindsey Branch of bellringers; Richard was a founder member of this group and led the youngsters in many exploits, including frisbee, football and rounders as well as bell ringing. This group has grown in numbers over the years and brings vitality to the branch. Among the many quarters that were rung in memory of Richard, six young ringers rang one at Upton. It was a very well rung quarter peal and a perfect way to remember and pay tribute to their good friend.

In addition to his bellringing talents, Richard was a very fine musician and talented organist. He spent a year as Organ Scholar at Worcester Cathedral before embarking on his Medical studies at Liverpool University. In a recent gap year from medicine he was awarded a First Class Honours degree in Music from Hull University, one of his compositions including the bells of Beverley Minster. His musical talents were, of course, put to good use as organist for ringersí services and as a performer at our fund raising concerts.

Richard had many interests beyond ringing and music, including social participation in sports, rock climbing, gliding, learning to fly light aircraft and microlighting. Richard worked hard and played even harder - always keen to have a go at something new.

The church at Messingham was packed for the Service of Thanksgiving for Richardís life on February 1st. Friends from his organ playing world, from Hull and Liverpool Universities and Doctors who had trained or worked with him came from all over the country to give thanks for his life and to hear of the many and varied activities in which Richard had been involved. Our heartfelt sympathy is extended to Joy and Ian, his parents, and to Jemma, his sister but we are sure that they will take comfort, as will we all, from the enduring contribution that Richard made to bellringing in our area.

Sue Faull