Obituary: Harold Judd

Obituary: Harold Percy Judd (1918-2010)

Harold died peacefully on Monday 18th January, aged 91 years He had been in hospital since before Christmas after falling on ice and breaking a hip.

Harold was a character - a man whose personality added colour and spice to any occasion. At the age of 14 he applied for his first job as an errand boy at Scunthorpe Co-op. He got the job, because he had the cleanest hands but also because he presented the interviewer with an essay entitled Winston Churchill is a good politician but not very intelligent. This went down well with the socialist people at the Co-op and they selected him out of around 20 boys. It was the depression of 1932 so he was the envy of people on the street. The following year Harold took up bellringing at St John's Church, Scunthorpe. He was taught to ring by Frank Lord, (father of Roger and grandfather of Andrew) and ringing became a very important part of Harold's life. He rang well over three hundred peals and was an excellent striker. He achieved a major ambition when in 1979 he became an elected member of The Ancient Society of College Youths. He rang five peals with the Society.

Harold was a very loyal member of the Scunthorpe band. Any bad striking would often cause Harold to commence his trade mark tut-tutting and make various lunges towards whoever was supposed to be dodging with him. This however did not improve things as it tended to make the other ringers go into some sort of trance! On other occasions Harold would suggest '.Let's splice it with ............ or let's ring it silent and non-conducted. It's quite simple.' He was always shouted down by lesser mortals but it must be said that all his comments were always made with good humour.

Later on Harold joined the Messingham band where for many years he was a loyal supporter both for Sunday ringing and at practices, (though jokingly he did say that he liked to wait 'for the good stuff'). After he moved to Hibaldstow his service continued in keeping the three bells ringing at his local church, St Hybalds.

Harold had various non-standard habits. For quarters or peals he always wore slippers and tied up his trousers with whatever was around - string or a neck tie but on very special occasions he did rustle up a belt!

He had an unusual way with words - he was not particular as to which language, but when he went on a foray into Arabic there were always veiled hints about seductive eyes and the removal of yashmaks. He wrote poetry and personally handed some of his poems to Enoch Powell.

Harold always supported the Lincoln Guild and Branch activities. He loved ringing outings and meeting new people. He was particularly happy in a pub at the end of an outing, and his rendering of Santa Lucia gave pleasure to all, apart from one. This was an Italian pub entertainer who had forgotten the words and had to be helped by Harold.

There is an occasion remembered by all senior members of our Branch - something to do with a pit-stop and Harold being reprimanded for causing harm to some prize geraniums.................... There are numerous 'Harold' stories.

During Harold's final week in Scunthorpe Hospital his throaty comment to the nurses taking him down to X-ray was 'I'm very privileged to be surrounded by such a bevy of beauties.' Later on when not quite sure who he was or to which generation he belonged, he kissed my hand and said 'I want to get back to some quality ringing.'

Harold, we will miss you.

At his funeral the vicar said about him:


"He fought the fight
He completed the course
He kept the faith."

Harold's Christmas card to ringers generally contained the verse from John Betjeman's poem Christmas.


No love that in a family dwells,
No carolling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this single Truth compare -
That God was Man in Palestine
And lives to-day in Bread and Wine.

God bless you Harold

Frances Thompson (February 2010)

Harold's 90th birthday party.
This was held on a glorious day in July 2008.
Harold is responding with a few bons mots to Chris Turner's congratulatory speech.

Peals were rung in thanksgiving for Harold's life on both tower (Stow) and handbells (Londonthorpe).

Quarters were rung at Scotter, Gainsborough, Kirton in Lindsey (2), Elsham and Caythorpe.

Harold's ringing achievements.

Harold rang approximately 345 peals, most of these having been for the LDGCB. His first was the tenor at Scunthorpe to Grandsire Triples on 12 September 1935, conducted by Jack Bray, and the last was of Rutland at Kirton Lindsey on 19 February 1994.
Harold conducted one peal, this being in seven Minor methods at Elsham on 18 December 1965.

Although Harold was a competent ringer on any bell he particularly enjoyed ringing back end bells, being noted for his consistently good striking.

Harold rang numerous quarter peals in a wide range of methods.