Ding Dong - Jim still ringing after 71 years
Forget about the oldest swinger, 80-year-old Jim Sutherland is definitely the oldest ringer in Wragby - and probably for miles around.
Mr Sutherland has just retired as the captain of the bell ringing team at All Saints Church.
Although he will be 81 in a few weeks, he has no plans to hang up his ‘clapper.’
He’s determined to carry on ringing after a career spanning 71 years.
Mr Sutherland said: “I was about ten when I first started.
“I’ve been captain at Wragby for more than 30 years and I just thought it was time to step aside and let someone else have a go.
“I won’t be stopping ringing, though. There’s plenty of life left in me.
”As my wife would tell you, show me a rope and a bell and I’ll pull it.”
Mr Sutherland started his career in Walesby.
He explained: “All the local lads played for the village football and cricket teams.
“They were looking for bell-ringers and I went along.
“I got the bug and it’s carried on from then.”
Initially, he was paid five pounds a year - enough, he says, to buy a new suit.
Mr Sutherland moved to Wragby to open a barber’s shop. He was a postman until he retired .
His love of bell-ringing has taken him to some of Britain’s most iconic churches.
He added: “I must have travelled thousands of miles - from Inverness to Gloucester.
“But there’s nowhere like home as far as I’m concerned.
“The bells at Wragby are the best.”
Mr Sutherland, who will celebrate his golden wedding this year, helped with the restoration of the bells in the 1970’s and of the church tower in 2001.
He’s hoping more young people will take up bell ringing.
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Weather for Market Rasen
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 11 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 10 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North