Owen Warren remembered

Branch News 2Owen was a North Buckinghamshire ringer for most of his life, having learned to ring at Stoke Goldington in the mid 1930s. He was taught by Ernie Shouler, and rang at Stoke for the next eighty years. In the early days Owen recalled ringing at many towers in the area, anywhere that was within cycling distance. He would also recount that things were very different in the 1930s and 40s. If you missed your sally or committed some other ringing misdemeanour, that was it, you didn’t get asked to ring again!

A2000-10-14 Owen in SG belfryrthur Armstrong was Tower Captain at Stoke when Owen succeeded him some forty years ago, and for many years he ran a successful Friday evening practice, alternating with Olney. Grandsire was a favourite…. The annual Stoke Goldington ringers’ outing was apparently legendary, with competition for spare seats on the coach! There are forty six recorded Branch Quarter Peals that include Owen, mostly rung in his home tower, but sometimes venturing over the parish borders to Tyringham, Weston Underwood, Hanslope, Olney and Emberton. He only rang one peal, 5040 Plain Bob Minor in 1963 at Stoke, which was for the Patronal Festival and the first on the bells since being augmented to six in 1952.

In 1941 at Gayhurst Church Owen married another Stoke ringer, Winifred Croot. Although she gave up ringing later, the Croot family featured strongly in the Stoke ringing records for many years. Sadly Winifred died just nineteen days after Owen.

Owen was elected a member of the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers in 1935 at the Branch AGM at Newport Pagnell. He was made an Honorary Member of the Guild in March 1991 at another AGM, and then the Guild Master, Jon Chamberlain, attended a Branch practice at Stoke in July 2005 to recognise Owen’s 70 years of Guild Membership.

2008-07-10 Owen with model SG bellsModel making was another of Owen’s keen interests. He worked at Vauxhall in Luton and was involved in making models of the cars that were being developed prior to production. He used this skill to make models connected with ringing. There are many of his rope spiders in towers in the area, bell table lamps, model bells, and a scale model of Stoke Goldington bells before augmentation.

Latterly, Owen was unable to ring but he always maintained a lively interest in ringing matters, most recently following the progress of the new band of ringers at Stoke Goldington.

Quarter Peals in celebration of Owen’s life were rung by his ringing friends at his home towers of Stoke Goldington and Weston Underwood on the day after the funeral. Plain Bob Minor at Stoke, and Grandsire Doubles at Weston Underwood, which had 96 calls, one for each year of his life. Winifred and Owen’s funeral was well attended by members of the North Bucks Branch and the Guild Banner was on display in the Chapel.

We remember Owen with both affection and gratitude.

St Peter, Stoke Goldington
Friday 16th January 2015
1260 Plain Bob Minor

1 Roy Keeves
2 Alan Cozens
3 Ian Thompson
4 Charles Knight
5 Phil Haslam
6 Tony Gray (C)

Rung to celebrate the lives of Owen and Winifred Warren.

St Laurence, Weston Underwood
Friday 16th January 2015
1260 Grandsire Doubles

1 Adam Hird
2 Nick Read
3 Nicki King
4 Charles Knight
5 Doug Hird (C)
6 Liz Sheaf

Rung to celebrate the life of Owen Warren.
Rung with 96 calls, one for each year of Owen’s life.

Sheila Watts