Ringing World Vol 65, Iss 3012, p25,

10th January 1969

  Those who knew Mr. F. Bernard Ditcher at Ranmoor, Sheffield, and also as a member of a progressive Surprise peal ringing band in Yorkshire some years ago will be sorry to know that he is in the Edward Hain Memorial Hospital, St. Ives, Cornwall. Mr. Ditcher retired to Cornwall but has not enjoyed good health recently, which necessitated giving up ringing. All will wish him a speedy recovery.

End of Article


Ringing World Vol 65, Iss 3016, p103 Feb 7th

17th January 1969



  The death occurred on January 17th of Mr. F. Bernard Ditcher, of St. Ives, Cornwall, and formerly of Ranmoor, Sheffield. He was 71 years of age.

  Born at Eckington, Derbyshire, he lived there until his marriage, when he moved to Sheffield. He was in the R.A.M.C. in the First World War and saw service in France. By profession Mr. Ditcher was an accountant.

  The writer does not know when Bernard first took up ringing, but in 1922 he was invited to join John Flint’s Surprise band, and in 1924 took part in the first peals of Pudsey and Rutland Surprise. The writer joined the band in 1924 and rang his first peal with Bernard in October of that year. He was a first-class ringer and striker, and before the Second World War had an impressive variety of peals to his credit.

  When the restrictions on ringing were further relaxed in 1944 Bernard agreed to join a young Surprise band that was being formed, and he and the late Jack Brothwell were the backbone of the band. Good progress was made, and eventually the goal that had been aimed at was reached and peals of London, Bristol. Spliced and new methods were rung regularly. The band owed a lot to Bernard not only for his ringing experience and ability but also for the example he set at all times and under all circumstances, and above all for his unfailing loyalty. He could be forthright, but it was always with dignity and without rancour. 

  For more than 40 years he was Ringing Master at All Saints’ Church, Ranmoor, Sheffield. and for a long period was an official of the Sheffield and District Society.

  He retired to St. Ives in 1963. A widow, daughter and two sons are bereaved. Many ringers in South Yorkshire will join the writer in offering their deepest sympathy. J. E. C.

  Note. — In Mr. Bernard Ditcher’s peal book, the first recorded is Kent Treble Bob Major at Eckington, Derbyshire, on February 11th, 1922. There are 179, the last being an officers peal for Sheffield and District Society of Yorkshire Surprise Major rung on April 21st, 1956.


  Mr. F. Bernard Ditcher retired to Lelant. Cornwall, after an active career in advanced ringing in Yorkshire. For some time he rang with the young ringers at Carbis Bay. and occasionally he joined with us in the ringing at Lelant.

  Ill-health caused him to give up ringing, but he was still most interested in it and always listened to ringing (with a critical ear) whenever possible. He always read with great interest and pleasure each copy of “The Ringing World” and eagerly looked forward to its arrival every week.

  A few years ago. when the Universities Association ringing tour was based on Sheffield, Miss Lidgey and I visited Ranmoor Church one Sunday to take part in ringing for the service. We were highly amused when we saw no less than 34 new stays in the ringing chamber, and when Mr: Ditcher saw how interested we were in that big supply of stays he told us that  they were for visitors — his own ringers never broke stays!


End of Article


ATHERSTONE, Warwickshire. — At the Church of St. Mary.
On Sat., Jan. 18, 1969. in 2 Hours and 36 Minutes.

Tenor 8 cwt. 1 qr. 6 lb. in A.

Geoffrey N. Goodall   Treble
Beryl E. Cawser  * 2
Alfred Ballard   3
J. Edward Cawser   4
K. Paul Gilliver  † 5
Peter C. Randall   6
Robin A. Gilliver   7
Russell S. Morris   Tenor

Composed by Gabriel Lindoff
Conducted by J. Edward Cawser.

In memoriam
F. Bernard Ditcher, of St. Ives. Cornwall,
and formerly of Ranmoor, Sheffield.

* 100th peal of Surprise: 2,
† 100th for the Guild: 5.

End of Article


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