The bells at St. John the Baptist church have not been heard for some considerable time. There are not enough ringers who are able to commit regularly, no tower captain or tower secretary and the bells themselves need some maintenance. However…
At approximately 3.30pm on the afternoon of Wednesday, 12th April (tomorrow) there will be a Quarter Peal in memory of Harold Jenkins who died peacefully on 14th January this year.
Harold was pivotal in keeping the bells of St John the Baptist Church, Broadwindsor, ringing for many years and the village owes him a great debt of gratitude. This Quarter Peal rung by an experienced band of the West Dorset Branch of SDGR (Salisbury Diocese Guild of Ringers) will take about 45 minutes and involves at least 1,250 changes (a ‘change’ is when two bells swap places in the order of ringing).
Harold was a very private man and we thank his widow, Margaret Jenkins for sharing this personal tribute:
Born Harold Thomas Fricker Jenkins on 16th January 1940 in Salisbury, Wiltshire.
An extremely shy and private person, typical Capricorn:slow to anger but really mad if he was upset.
We met when we were 16, then married at 22 and immediately went on a posting with Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service, to Brussels, at the Common Market Delegation, until four month’s later General De Gaulle said “Non” to UK entry and the Delegation closed.
Then came four years in Rangoon, Burma where Elizabeth and Nicholas were born. Following that came a two and a half year posting to New York at the British Delegation to the United Nations.
After a three year home posting, the children went to boarding school and we went to Bombay, India.
The next move was another visit to the USA. This time to Washington D.C. This was our favourite posting.
A four year home posting came next with Harold rising to the head of the East Africa Department. A part of this entailed visiting the refugee camps in Ethiopia. He was very glad to return home!
Dar es Salaam in Tanzania was the next post – not a favourite but it had its moments.
The last accompanied posting was to Kathmandu, Nepal, where he was Vice Consul and Head of Management with a staff of 50. Harold was involved with the aftermath of two air crashes that happened within six weeks of each other. It was a harrowing experience for both the Embassy staff and their wives.
Returning to the UK in 1994, we returned to Surrey before finding our present house. After a spell of immigration officer duties at Heathrow airport, Harold was asked to go to Kiev (as it was then), to Bucharest and then to Paris, each on special assignments. These three month assignments left Margaret at home to run the B&B, tend the garden and the allotment. A complaint about weeds was not well received!
Harold lived happily in Broadwindsor for twenty six and a half years, where he spent many hours ringing the church bells.
Please enjoy the bells!
A recording may be heard HERE.
Harold Jenkins 16.01.1940 – 14.01.2023