Leonard Pitstow (d. 1984, aged 84)

Len Pitstow (Click on the picture for larger version)

Much detail covered in Stacey's "The Pitstows of Saffron Walden" - see reference.

Quarter peal rung by Society is his memory.

Resignation letter

30 November 1979

Dear Roger

I regret to say that I am now finding it difficult to concentrate on my bellringing and so have come to the conclusion that the time has come for me to retire from being an active member of the Society. Having started at the age of 13 I think I have had a very good time, but every dog has his day! I do not wish to server my connection with the Society, and hope you would call me if you were in need of 1 man.

The Society is now in a very healthy state and I am certain it will go from strength to strength, as it proved itself last Tuesday evening.

I wish the Society every success in the future and if I were asked to give you any advice I would say - start now to concentrate on 8-bell ringing.

Yours sincerely

L.E. Pitstow


From the local press:


Shortly before his death Leonard Pitstow, former "Master of the Ringers" at Saffron Walden parish church, made a last request. He told his family he wanted his ashes scattered by the belfry so he would always be able to keep an eye on his team of bellringers.

So before the regular Tuesday evening practice team gathered by the belfry with members of his family and a few friends to carry out his last wish.


The ashes were scattered by Mr Pitstow's successor as Master of the Ringers, Mr Roger Collins.

Prayers were said by his son, Stephen, his son-in-law Mr Christopher Redgate, and two close family friends, Mr Bruce Macartney of the Bible Society, and Miss Jenny Shepherd a teacher with the British Churches Missionary Society in Tanzania.

Also there were Mr Pitstow's two daughters, Celia and Helen, who both inherited their father's musical talents and used to be students at the Royal Academy.

The gathering sang songs of Christian renewal and, after the team had rung the bells, went to the home of his widow, Mrs Mary Pitstow, in Butler Close.

Mrs Pitstow said: "I am sure Len would have loved it and he may even have been there.

Her husband, a former jeweller who was in his mid-eighties when he died nearly two years ago, retired as Master of the ringers in 1976.

He was born in Saffron Walden and had had a long association with the parish church.

He was also regarded so a musical maestro, being a talented flute and piano player.

He was a founder member of Saffron Walden Music Club in 1944 and was its chairman for 30 years.

He was also conductor of Saffron Walden Amateur Operatic Society for 27 years.

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