John J Jutson

23/1/1868 - 14/8/1946


John James Jutson was born at Sawtry, Huntingdon in 1868. He married in June 1882 and had a son George, born in 1893 and a daughter Kathleen, both of whom were prolific ringers. He was for over 30 years verger and caretaker at St. Mary’s Church, Peterborough. A ring of eight Warner bells was installed at St Mary’s in 1887. John lived at St Mary’s School House when he first taught himself and his young son to pull a bell in 1905, because he was not well received by the ringers of that time. They cycled to the outlying villages to learn the intricacies of change ringing and made fast progress. By December 1905 father and son were ringing touches of Bob Minor and George was 12 years old when his first 720 was reported in Bell News. They rang together for their first peal on September 25, 1909, Oxford Bob & Plain Bob Minor at their home tower, conducted by John Halifax.

Their first peal was attributed to the Peterborough and District Association (P&DA) which was newly formed that year. In 1911 John helped out as Secretary of the Association and was elected to the post in 1913. He retained the role, with Kathleen as his assistant in 1922, until J Carman took over at the 1923 AGM until this Guild was formed, incorporating the P&DA.

The Jutson’s home was always open to visiting ringers and many enjoyed their hospitality. Other than when peals were rung to celebrate her birthday in September or their wedding anniversaries, the only report of Mrs Jutson occurs in 1921 when she replied on behalf of the ladies, who had been thanked by the Dean for arranging such a splendid tea for the P&DA AGM.

Much service ringing at St Mary’s was recorded in the Bell News, mainly 720s and some date touches of minor and it was not until 1911 that their first quarter peal was achieved by ringing Grandsire Triples at St John’s.

John and George were ringing in the town, surrounding countryside and on handbells, with peals, including one at Crowland, mainly rung for the P&DA but also with Lincoln DG and, when John was on holiday, for Ely DA. George conducted 12 peals out of the 16 that he had rung by the time he died suddenly at the age of 21 in 1914. John first conducted a peal in 1916 at his home tower.

During the Great War, John taught several ladies to ring and they made good progress. His daughter Kathleen replaced her late brother as her father’s ringing companion from 1918 and made rapid progress ringing peals in many methods and first conducted a peal in 1921. They both rang in a peal of 10,080 changes of 14 minor methods at West Deeping in 1927. Kathleen rang handbell peals with Alf Pulling locally and in London. Having trained with the Church Army, Kathleen emigrated to New Zealand in 1933, where she married Ian Barrett.

With the formation of this Guild, John was elected at the first annual meeting as one of the represenattives to the CCCBR for the 1924-6 triennium, however he only attended the 1925 meeting.

John remained active and rang more peals in the twenties and into the thirties, the last being 5 doubles methods at Alwalton in December 1937. The CCCBR biography reports that he rang 100.

John moved to New Zealand in November 1938. In 1946, The Ringing World reported his death at the home of his daughter, Kathleen Barrett, at Takata, Nelson, New Zealand.