Michael A Parker

7/1931 - 10/6/1997

Members of the Peterborough Guild were saddened to learn when arriving at the Guild AGM this year that one of the leading members of the Peterborough branch, and also of the host church, Peterborough St Mary, had died suddenly the Tuesday previously.

Mick had been a ringer for 43 years, and was assistant ringing master of the branch. During the Guild service before the meeting our thoughts were centred on his service to the church and ringing, and on his family who were present as always at St Mary’s to help with the arrangements.

Mick was born in Oby near Great Yarmouth in July 1931. He started ringing in 1954 at Wisbech St Mary, taught by George Sharpe. He had met George’s daughter Joan when he was in his early teens, and they married in July 1957 when they moved to Peterborough. He joined the band at St Mary that year, and taught many recruits, including his son Andrew, daughter Christine, and grand-daughters Kayley and Holli to ring.

Mick’s other main interest was singing, and he was a founder member of Werrington Village Choir, acting as treasurer for many years. At St Mary’s church he was with Joan a leading member who could always be relied on to help with events such as a regular paper collection to raise funds. In the Peterborough branch he held most offices at some time including Ringing Master of the old Peterborough branch and the enlarged branch when it merged with the Oundle branch in 1975. His longest term was as Secretary and Treasurer from 1981 to 1990. After a short ‘retirement’ he became assistant Ringing Master this January.

Mick was not a prolific peal ringer, ringing 12 peals in all. These included the last on the old six at St Mary (now at Pimlico) and the first on the new eight. He preferred quarter peals of which he rang 336, and outings (particularly new towers). His tower total was 1624, many on week tours to the south and west. The church was full of ringers and friends and relatives on Thursday June 19th to say farewell to a loyal servant of the church and of ringing. He will be missed greatly in the area for his love of life, food and friendship and contribution to the exercise.

Author: Derek J Jones