Geoffrey D Armitage

01/01/1943 - 19/12/2016


See obituaries by Fr Martin Daniels and the Revd Kevin Price published in The Ringing World March 24, 2017, pages 284-5.

From The Lancashire Ringer Jan 2017, with permission of the Editor: Peter Rivet 01524 66870

We have to report with regret the death on December 20, 2016 of Geoffrey Armitage, a long standing member of the Lancashire Association though he did not live in this area.

He had been ill for some time. Geoffrey had a considerable interest in, and knowledge of, old and interesting bells; which was admirable. He was best known for his ability to put unringable bells into working order, a very useful skill, though the tactics he employed to achieve were sometimes open to criticism. He was not particularly concerned with the views of such people as architects, structural engineers and Diocesan Advisory Committees. Despite this, he operated for some years as a professional clock repairer and bellhanger, based at Husbands Bosworth in Leicestershire. To his wife and family we offer our sympathy.

Your editor particularly remembers a ringing holiday in North Wales in 1975. We had some spare time in the vicinity of Denbigh, where the tower housed – and still houses - a 14cwt ring of eight which had been unringable since the 1930s. Geoffrey and some friends persuaded a church official to give them access to the tower. He did some patching up work which included drilling eight holes in a floor which had been added since the bells went out of use. He produced eight bell ropes which he just happened to have in the back of his car, and we were able to grab them… though in fact we only rang seven of the bells. The fourth kept on trying to climb out of the frame. But the tower is ticked off in my copy of Dove’s Guide. Denbigh bells are still listed in Dove as unringable.