It is with great sadness I have to report the death of Chris Fynes of Petworth after a long battle with cancer. Chris learned to ring in Middlesex before moving to Sussex in the mid 60s ringing at Lodsworth and Petworth. He took a break from ringing in the mid 1970s before coming back in more recent years ringing at Petworth, Chichester and becoming a regular in George Francis’ Bell Meadow quarter peal band. Chris was an accomplished ringer but the bare figures showing that he rang 45 peals in total with 16 being for the Sussex Association do not do justice to his earlier exploits in the Stanwell area. In only his second peal he rang 2-3 before going on the ring a total of 15 double-handed peals including one of 98 doubles methods and several of spliced surprise minor. He also conducted all of those peals. He only conducted one peal for the Sussex Association, 43 spliced surprise minor at Lodsworth and, yes, he rang two bells! The interesting thing is that despite his undoubted ability to ring two bells he never rang a hand-bell peal – maybe that was too easy for him!
Many association members will not have known Chris but his picture of Petworth church on the front of the current SCACR annual report is a testament to his artistic abilities. Whilst I have kept this summary of his ringing activities brief there were other interests in his life. I remember chatting with him in a pub after a Westbourne practice about his collection of musical boxes, how he restored them and the editorship of the regular newsletter for a national society of like-minded people. His funeral will be on Friday 27 January 2023 at 2:30pm in St Mary’s Church, Petworth. Ringing arrangements will be announced later.