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Harry Symes (1908-1991)

Harry Symes (1908-1991)

Harry Symes Obituary – The Ringing World page 228

After a short illness, Harry Symes of Micheldever died at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester on 24January. Harry was 83 years old and had rung at St. Mary's, Micheldever for 68 years. He became a Life Member of the Winchester and Portsmouth Guild in 1982. He was an active tower captain, still teaching youngsters to ring. His main ambition was to keep the bells ringing for Sunday services. He enjoyed being able to ring for any quarter peal at the tower.

Harry was a truly gentle man, very perceptive to the needs of others and always ready to lend a hand. He lived in the village for 70 years. Since the war he owned The Forge where he lived with his wife, Hilda. This is within two minutes' walk of the churchyard where he took pleasure in planting trees and daffodils. He took particular care of the snowdrops, and these were beginning to be in flower on the day of his funeral.

The church was full to overflowing with all his family and friends. Ringers, representatives from ten neighbouring towers, rang the bells open as he was laid to rest.

Testimony to Harry's skill as a blacksmith remains to the ringers at Micheldever, where he made and installed the rope guides. He also installed the rope guides at Bishops Sutton.

On Sunday mornings he was always at the church in time to unlock the door with the big key which he had made himself. Besides being the captain he was also the steeple-keeper and kept the bells in immaculate condition.

Ringing was not his only interest: he was a devoted member of St. Mary's congregation.  He raised money unobtrusively in numerous ways for the church some of which was by recycling what others threw away. He was an active member of the Red Cross. His garden was always a picture of colour which both he and Hilda drew much pleasure from working in together.

Although Hampshire born, he was not a native of the village, but he was one of the few residents who lived and worked on his own premises. He worshipped at Micheldever for a life-time.  He will be greatly missed.

A peal was rung at Goodworth Clatford in thanksgiving for his life, as were the following

quarter peals. 

Winchester Cathedral. 3 Feb, 1275 Stedman Caters: R Cater 1, Gail Cater 2, Patricia D Taeuber 3, P A Hutchinson 4, A G Craddock 5, J P Collis 6, P J Gorrod (C) 7, G C Grant 8, S D Smith 9, S Fenwick 10.

Ropley. 1260 P.B. Doubles: J Clements (1st Q on treble) 1, Rosemary Haviland 2, Susan Smith 3, Elizabeth Johnson 4, R Skinner (C) 5, N Raynham 6.

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