Walter Parish (d. 1963, aged 85)

Walter Parish is one of the unsung members of the Society - such that there seems to have been no obituary note in either the local or ringing press.

Walter was employed for most of his life as Custodian of Walden's cemetery. He joined the Society in 1897, ringing his first quarter peal (Stedman Triples) in August of that year. He was the Society's "Collector" (of subscriptions and fines) and "Warner" (in effect, messenger - informing members should they be needed to ring at short notice) for many years.

The cleanliness of the ringing chamber and belfry was another of Walter's responsibilities. At the Great Ringing Day Service in 1942 the Vicar, in his sermon, severely censured the Ringers for what he called the dirty condition of the belfry. In point of fact Walter Parish had cleaned out the belfry on the Tuesday before Great Ringing Day and also three months previously, but complained that workmen had used the room as a workshop without cleaning up after their work was completed. Fire Watchers had also used the room storing pails of sand, water and other firefighting equipment there. The Society resented the unjustified rebuke, particularly when they discovered that Walter Parish had not been paid since the outbreak of war, the 2 per annum he was entitled to receive for this cleaning work. Members were further annoyed when they learned that instead of paying Parish the 10/- Turner Charity money "for preparinge the bells", the money had been paid to the Verger, apparently on the instructions of the Charity Commissioners. The Minutes do not disclose the outcome of the letter which the Society addressed to the Vicar on both subjects. The treatment of Walter Parish who did so much in his quiet way, was indeed undeserving.

Walter was the Society's tenor ringer - there are no records of his ringing an inside bell. He rang 6 peals for the Society (the first being in 1901), including the Society's first on 10 bells. He also rang the tenor to first peal on the 12 bells in 1936. His last peal was in 1939 - Stedman Cinques.

Walter died on 13th March 1963, aged 85 - an injured leg, caused by falls, had made it impossible for Walter to get up into the belfry for a few years before his death.

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