Wednesday, 22 June 2022 (0–3–19 in A♯)
1250 Yorkshire Surprise Major
1 Philip W Gay
2 Paul Jopp
3 Michael Wilshaw
4 S Geoffrey Pick (C)
5 Simon JL Linford
6 Stephen G Askew
7 Timothy M Davis
8 Gordon R Birks
Geoff and Linda Pick came to Staffordshire in the late sixties and over the succeeding fifty years made a huge contribution to ringing in the area, particularly at Cannock. Earlier this year they decided to move to the North Bristol area to be near their daughter Jenny. Geoff has been an occasional member of the Woodlands Wednesday band since 1997, always willing to ring when needed and happy to help us out at short notice, so we decided that his departure should be marked in an appropriate way. His last appearance as a Staffordshire resident was to be on June 22nd, and we managed to put together an appropriate band, mostly from our regular squad but with a guest appearance from Simon Linford, who was taught to ring at Cannock by Geoff when his father was incumbent there. The band included Steve Askew, one of Geoff’s successors as secretary of the Lichfield and Walsall Archdeaconries Society, and another successor, Jean Nixon, was originally in the band but had to withdraw because of illness and she wishes to be associated with this quarter peal.
The band’s combined peal total with Geoff was 267, not that high but not trivial. Similarly, Geoff’s total at Woodlands was 24, which made us his third most popular tower after Cannock and Bloxwich. But he is noted not so much for the number he has rung at any one tower, but for the number of towers, 378 in all, and he is the only ringer to have rung peals in all 141 towers in traditionally defined Staffordshire.
We suggested that Geoff should choose the method, and when he told us he would like to ring old-fashioned five-spliced we were slightly concerned that Simon might be disappointed that there were no new pickled egg methods, but he declared himself happy with the choice. We had two ringers who had not rung a peal at Woodlands, Simon Linford and Gordon Birks. We did not manage a peal, but Geoff called a quarter of Yorkshire before we went to the pub
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