23rd August 1933 – 18th August 2019
Jill Roberts (or “Auntie Jill” as we affectionately called her) started ringing later in life than most (I first remember her when she would have been in her mid-50s). Most people who learn as adults don’t progress very far but Jill was very determined and learnt to ring up to and including Surprise Major.
Jill was a superb organiser of ringing tours. She was most accommodating, accepting requests from all those coming on the tour and sometimes she ended up squeezing in as many as 20 towers into a single day. She also had the knack for getting permission to ring at towers where everyone else was refused permission.
Jill also loved going on ringing trips organised by others. One of the most memorable holidays was in the summer of 2005 when she and Pat Halls travelled with me visiting all the towers in Scotland over one week followed straight after by all the towers in Northern Ireland over the following weekend.
On another busy day, Jill acted as my navigator on the Peak District open day. We visited 30 different churches in one day, with Jill, at the age of 70, ringing at all but one.
Jill made the national press earlier this year when she went to watch the Severn Bore with her dear friend Sue Marshall. Standing too close, she got caught up with the bore and ended up in the river!
Jill, of course, had many other interests. As well as tending her sheep and growing crops on her smallholding, she was a keen photographer, in particular taking pictures of dragonflies. She attended lectures given by the U3A, and she was still playing table tennis at the age of 85!
Jill was a most generous host, welcoming people to her cottage, perhaps for a hearty supper of lamb casserole followed by stewed fruit or maybe a cuppa and a slice of cake for those riding past on the National Cycle Route.
Jill’s funeral was held at Sutton under Brailes on 17th September, on a lovely, warm late summer’s day. Jill would have been pleased that the ringing before and after was to a suitably high standard.
Jill was adored by all of her many ringing friends and we will miss her terribly.