Presentation of Honorary Life Membership to Robert Plaskett at Downton 8th October 2017
Sometimes, it is possible to find an individual who has moved back to the village where they were born to enjoy their retirement. However, Bob Plaskett can lay claim to the fact that not only is he enjoying retirement in the village where he was born – Downton – but has lived there and worshipped at St. Laurence’s Church all his life as well.
On Sunday 8th October, some 20 ringers from Downton and the local towers joined Bob in the tower for ringing prior to the Service of Holy Communion. The service began with a welcome by the Rev Frank Gimson to all those present including the Guild Master Robert Wellen, the Guild President Judith Williamson, the ringers and to Bob’s family with him. The Rev Gimson also acknowledged the role and dedication of the bell ringers who turn out Sunday by Sunday and their role in the life of the church. During the service Robert, having given a brief resume of Bob’s ringing history presented him with his Honorary Life Membership certificate. Bob’s wife, Marlene, was also presented with a bouquet of flowers in thanks for her support of Bob’s ringing exploits over many years.
Bob first learnt to ring at the age of 14 in 1956. From the time he learnt to ring, Bob has regularly supported ringing at Downton. Since becoming Tower Captain in 2005 he has faithfully encouraged ringing for weddings, festivals and other occasions as well as ensuring the ringing of the bells Sunday by Sunday.
He has not only faithfully served Downton but has always been ready and willing to help out at other Towers both locally and further afield. As well as teaching ringers at Downton, he has helped teach and develop a band of ringers at Breamore, often helping with ringing for weddings and supporting the recent bell restoration there.
Without Bob’s dedication and commitment, the bells at Downton could have fallen silent since 2000 when a number of ringers left the Tower. He took over the reins and has slowly built up a local band of ringers. It is a tribute to him that last year a local band was able to ring a Quarter Peal to celebrate his 60 years of ringing and devotion to Downton Church and the service of ringing.