18th February 1929 – 28th January 2019robin

Robin’s funeral was held at St Mary’s, Clifton upon Dunsmore on what would have been his 90th birthday, with open ringing before and after the service to celebrate his life.

Robin was born in Leicester and at the age of 8 years he boarded at Abbotsholme School in Derbyshire. It was during his time there that his various interests came to the fore, notably the great outdoors, travelling and bellringing. He also became a proficient pianist and his love of classical music was a constant throughout his life.

After 2 years National Service, Robin started reading Chemical Engineering at Jesus College, Cambridge in 1949. The Guy family drove through Europe and as far as the Middle East where his father was to work with refugees, towing their caravan which, incidentally is on display at the Museum of Transport in Coventry. You must go and see it.

It was on a joint Cambridge and Oxford bellringing outing in June 1951 at Rowington in Warwickshire, that Robin met Elizabeth Roe, eventually marrying on 7th December 1953 on the Island of Sark.

After graduation, Robin began working for Courtaulds in Coventry and while there rang at Allesley, later moving to Corley where he began training a band of ringers. With their move to the Coventry Guild, earlier university friendships with Dick and Anne Speed and Peter Border were rekindled. After a spell working in Derbyshire, their next move was to Southport, where Robin joined the local band at Emmanuel Church. His children Catherine, Patrick and Joan started ringing there. Following his time at Courtaulds, Robin became chairman of the Coventry Health Authority, where he was closely involved with medical staffing appointments and the commissioning of Walsgrave Hospital, as it was then known.

Their final move was to Clifton, where both Robin and Elizabeth were soon involved with getting the bells ringing again, augmenting them to six and of course, teaching more ringers. He was Tower Captain at Clifton for 30 years, passing that responsibility to daughter Catherine in recent years.

Robin, with others, was instrumental in the creation of the Rugby Deanery District of the Guild in the 1980s. I recall many a committee meeting held in their sitting room at Dunsmore Hall Farm. He became Chairman of the District and was extremely good at getting other people involved in committee work, don’t I know it!

He and Elizabeth were always very hospitable and over the years held many events in their lovely garden. The Clifton ringers began what became the annual Christmas social, with hilarious games which everyone enjoyed, that is when they had recovered from being bent double with laughter. The ‘Guys’, as they became known, were also keen on ringing outings and one that particularly comes to mind, was the ‘Ringing and Architecture’ outing in August 1992 to Northamptonshire. A grand day out.

Robin rang about 200 peals and was in the band for the first peal on the refurbished 12 at Coventry Cathedral in 1988 and also the 25th anniversary peal in 2013, which turned out to be his last peal. He was 83 at the time and as reported, ‘he rang faultlessly throughout’.

What a privilege to have known this talented, humble and gentle man.

Freda Bennett

*With grateful thanks for information from Andrew Jamieson (Robin’s grandson), Clarke Walters and John Fielden.