Tom Tebbutt

04/1886 - 11/12/1968

I have not discovered the day of his birth, there being peals rung for his birthday on 21, 22 and 23 of April over the years! Tom learned to ring in 1902 or 1903 but first appears in Bell News ringing 630 of Grandsire Triples on the treble for Harvest festival at St Edmunds, Northampton in 1906 followed days later by two quarter peals. By November 1907 he conducts a quarter peal of Grandsire Triples. In 1908 he rang a quarter peal of Stedman Triples at St Giles.

On December 14, 1907 he rang his first peal, which was Grandsire Triples on the 5th at St Edmunds for the Central Northamptonshire Association.

By the outbreak of the Great War, Tom had conducted peals of Grandsire and Stedman Triples.

Tom was working in the munitions industry in Peterborough during the war and he rang the tenor at Peterborough Cathedral to extents of Grandsire Doubles on Armistice Day 1918.

After the war in 1919 he conducted peals including Double Norwich Court Bob Major at All Saints and 3 minor methods from Harlestone tenor. He rang in Stedman Triples at Daventry, Grandsire Caters at St Giles and Stedman Triples at Wellingborough, all for the Central Northamptonshire Association.

In 1920 Tom seems to have returned to Peterborough until mid 1922. He rang and conducted several peals for the Peterborough & District Association, including Plain Bob Minor at Easton, St Clements Minor and 4 methods at Woodston, 3 minor methods at Castor, 5 minor at Maxey and Stedman Triples at St John's, Peterborough and his 50th peal was 6 minor methods at St Mary's on December 29, 1921.

He rang with the Lincoln Diocesan Guild including four handbell peals of Plain Bob Major, 7 minor methods at Market Deeping and Stedman Caters at Surfleet. He also ventured to Barton on Humber and must have had a holiday in Scarborough where he called a peal of Grandsire Triples for the Yorkshire Association.

Until his return to Northampton, he rang peals at Surfleet of Double Norwich Major, Plain Bob and Cambridge S Royal and another handbell peal. He managed a visit to Clapham to ring handbells 9-10 to Stedman Caters with Alf Pulling credited to the Winchester Diocesan Guild. His farewell to Peterborough was marked by calling a date touch of Plain Bob Major at St. John's in May 1922.

Although in March, Tom had popped 'home' to ring a peal of Stedman Caters at St Giles "rung by all local ringers", his return from July involved a lot of ringing leading to his 100th peal in 1924. It is worth noting that the abilities of the ringers to which he returned were highlighted by an entry in the Ringing World that 288 of Bristol S Major was rung at All Saints in August 1922.

Tom conducted peals of Erin Triples, Stedman Triples and Plain Bob Major and rang in peals of Kent TB Royal at Kettering, Superlative S Major at Daventry, Cambridge S Major at Rothwell and Raunds. He also rang peals of minor including Duston, Greens Norton, Guilsborough, Pattishall ringing up to seven methods. Peals on five involved Collingtree and Creaton among others. Tom's 100th peal was Grandsire Triples at St Edmunds conducted by Harry Baxter in August 1924. Of his first 100 peals, Tom had conducted 44.

Tom was secretary of the Northampton branch of the Central Northants Association in 1923 and in January 1924, he became the first Northampton Branch Secretary of the newly formed Peterborough Diocesan Guild and continued in that role until the end of 1932.

Tom continued ringing peals mainly around and in Northampton, including Boughton, Courteenhall, Darlington, Pitsford and Pytchley.

By 1927 Tom had moved from Louise Road, Northampton to West Street, Moulton. He was involved in ringing at the dedications of restored bells: Braunston (1925 first peal), St. Peter's, Holy Sepulchre and Hazelbech (1928-30 after restorations by Gillett & Johnston), St Edmunds (1931 by J Taylor), Moulton (six bells - 1931 - "after which the going was so easy that a band of girl ringers was formed under tuition of foreman, Tom Tebbutt"), Moulton (8 bells - 1934), Walgrave (1937) and Staverton (1938).

His last peal seems to have been on July 22, 1939 when he conducted Plain Bob Major at St Peters Northampton to mark the 200th anniversary of the first peal there conducted by Benjamin Annabel with London ringers.

Tom called several quarter peals of Grandsire Triples at St Peters in 1948-9. In 1955, he moved within Moulton to 2 Overstone Road Cottages. His last quarter peal recorded was Grandsire Triples for service there on March 27, 1960.

In 1965, in welcoming the CCCBR to Northampton, Guild Secretary Eric Billings wrote: let us remember the names of some of those who, by their skill in organisation and practical ringing, have built up a tradition of good ringing and go of fellowship... such men as ...Tom Tebbutt ...

A peal at Moulton was rung on May 4 at 1968 as a compliment for Tom's 82nd birthday. He died on December 11. Moulton bells were rung half-muffled for his burial. A half-muffled peal of Grandsire Triples conducted by Murray Coleman was rung by Guild officers in memoriam on December 21.