Eric Nobles

1921-01-03 - 1996-07-01

Eric was born in Northampton on March 1, 1921. He learnt to ring at Dallington in 1934 and became a great ringing enthusiast for tower ‘snatching’ as he called it, ringing peals and encouraging others to make progress. Subsequently he rang at Duston 1935-1941, St Peter’s Northampton 1947- 1950 and at Dallington until 1967.

Eric served as Northampton Branch Ringing Master 1947 and its Secretary and Treasurer 1948-1953. Eric represented the Guild on the Central Council from 1954 - 1959, from 1961 - 1963 and attended eight meetings.

He served in the RAF as LAC and was stationed and rang in Cheshire. He rang the first of his many peals on July 8, 1944, Plain Bob Doubles at Swavesey, Cambs. In 1945 he was described as ‘LAC Eric Nobles’ in a peal at Little Houghton. By the following year he had jumped to Grandsire Caters at St Giles and conducted three minor methods on the back six at Holy Sepulchre. He was keen to encourage peal ringing and got many through their first peal including all except himself to Plain Bob Minor at Weedon. He conducted four minor methods as first on the Nether Heyford bells.

Eric reported to the Ringing World that in 1947 he rang in 158 towers, 118 of them being new ones in 14 different counties but owing to the bad winter weather, an accident at work in April, putting him out of action for three weeks, and a fall fracturing both feet in December, from which he was still nursing, he could not beat his 1946 record of ringing every Sunday bar one.

Eric served as Northampton Branch Ringing Master in 1947 and Branch Secretary and Treasurer 1948-1953. He represented the Guild on the Central Council from 1954 - 1959, and 1961 - 1963 and attended eight meetings.

This quote from the Ringing World typifies Eric’s enthusiasm:

A peal board was dedicated in the belfry of the Church of St. Mary-the-Virgin, Dallington. Northampton, on October 21st, by the Archdeacon of Northampton. The board was unveiled by Mr. Eric Nobles, the captain of the tower. The peals included one of Doubles, the first rung with a Sunday service band and contained four first peals. This performance was on March 10th, 1951. At the dedication festival of Dallington Church, on October 14th, the ringers rang for every service, starting with half-an-hour before the 8 a.m. Holy Communion, at which the entire band communicated. Ringing was resumed at 8.35 for the 9 a.m. Holy Eucharist and at 10.30 for matins at 11 a.m. For evensong a quarter peal was rung and, according to custom at Dallington for all festivals, after evensong.

His 25th peal of doubles as conductor was in nine methods and 12 variations rung at Alderton in 1952, being the first peal of Doubles in 21 methods by all the band and for the Guild.

Eric married Miss M E L Stanford at Dallington on Saturday, September 19, 1953. The ringers turned out for the wedding, and the couple left for their honeymoon to the tune of the bells. From Eric’s thanks printed in Belfry Gossip to the ringers at Chepstow, Cardiff, St. David’s, and Newton, Porthcawl, for their warm welcome, we can assume that his honeymoon was in South Wales!

On February 4, 1956, Dallington bells were rededicated after Taylors had retuned the bells and installed them in a new metal frame.

He is recorded as a member of the Guild until 1967 after which your webmaster can find no further history until a quarter peal was rung at Dallington on July 9, 1996. It was conducted by George Roome, for Eric’s funeral which took place that day at Llangynog, Oswestry, despite the CCCBR records showing his date of death as July 19! Further information will be welcomed by the webmaster to improve this record.