Bells fall silent for stalwart ringer John

John Boardman outside St Cuthbert's Church
John Boardman outside St Cuthbert's Church

After 65 years of service, St Cuthbert’s tower captain has rung the bells of the Lytham church for one final time.

John Boardman, 80, of Banbury Road, St Annes, has carried on the tradition in his family since he was 15 years old.

He said: “I joined St Cuthbert’s as a bell ringer at the age of 15, my father and brother were already bell ringers so I was brought up into the job.”

However, John is in no way ending his time at the Church Road church, and will be still going back whenever he can.

He added: “I’ll still be going to church on a Sunday and I may go to practice on Wednesday nights sometimes – but that will depend on whether they are going to the Taps 
after or not!

“Unfortunately, I’m just too tired to do it now and it was time for a change.”

John’s wife Sylvia has praised her husband’s commitment to the church. She said: “It’s quite a thing to do for 65 years, the first time I met him at the age of 15, he was a bell ringer.

“It was a nark more than anything when we first met, as when we used to go to Lowther at new year we would always have to miss out on a dance and kiss as John would have to go back to the church.”

“It was a big tie to have but John being John and being very diligent, he kept up his family name.”

John was not only important to St Cuthbert’s but many other churches in Fylde could count on his services should anything need doing.

He said: “I was also a handyman around the church if anything needed doing. I would just dive into it.

“I was always been good at mechanics and been able to fix anything around the house or at church so I’ve helped on the odd time at St Joseph’s and St Peter’s over the years.”

Sarah Mayland, who has just taken over as tower captain at St Cuthbert’s, commended John on all his years of work at the church.

She said: “John is such a lovely man with an incredibly positive attitude who is an inspiration to us all.

“He has been an excellent tower captain and done such a super job, he is going to be a hard act to follow.”