Obituary Martin Dodd

Martin Dodd   12th July 1946 to 2nd April 2021

The sudden death of Martin has robbed the Guild of Devonshire Ringers, Mid Devon branch of its longest serving Tower Captain. Very few of us can remember a time when Martin was not at the helm at St Michael’s Teignmouth. He has kept a band together since the 1960s – no mean feat. There was always a warm welcome to visitors and we know that many holiday making ringers have returned over and over again because of the warmth of that welcome. He has taught very many ringers over that time and was also a branch officer being Branch Ringing Master for the Guild of Devonshire Ringers in the 1970s. He was also the Chairman of the Kenn Deanery.

 With Barbara, his wife to support him the Teignmouth tower outings became legendary,  5 or more towers and then a return to their house for supper. It was always a high spot of the day when, after a hard day’s ringing, the tables would be heaving with delicious food and the day was rounded off with good fellowship. More recently these outings ended with a pub meal,  often at the Smugglers, but still forming a highlight of the day.

Martin was not a prolific peal ringer and his Guild record shows. Instead he devoted much of his ringing to St Michaels, and that was such an important part of his life. Only the first of his five peals (Cambridge Minor at Torre for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee) was not at St Michael’s. Quarter peals were much more to his taste, and he rang many of them over the years. We have already mentioned the outings and he delighted in ringing at new towers. At present we do not have details but we know he  must have rung at well over 1000. A particularly happy memory is the delight he so obviously felt after some superb ringing on the 14 bells at Winchester Cathedral – one of his last new towers.

Understandably the Teignmouth ringers have been devastated by this sudden loss. At the same time, they are determined to make sure that ringing continues at the two Teignmouth Towers. This week both practice and ringing for Sunday Service resumed at St Michael’s, Teignmouth, under covid 19 CCCBR guidelines. The band considers their return to ringing to be part of their ongoing tribute to Martin.

Due to the covid restrictions only 30 mourners were allowed inside the church for the funeral but a good representation of ringers was outside the church to greet the coffin.   The rope of the tenor bell that he must have pulled on numerous occasions was on display on top of the coffin. The fifth bell was rung half muffled in support of Ann and family as the hearse arrived at the church All being well a more appropriate memorial service will be held towards the end of July. We will keep you informed and hope that many of you will be able to join the Teignmouth ringers and friends on this occasion.

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