The Revd. JF Hastings M. A.
The following memoir of the Rev. J. F. Hastings has been contributed by a ringer who first rang with him in the 1920’s.
“I first met the Rev. J. F. Hastings when I attended my first Annual Meeting of The Worcestershire Association in 1920. At that time he held the office of Clerical Secretary to the Association”
“When any visiting ringers went to Martley, he always related the history of the bells, how they were cast by Richard Keene in a field near the church and hung in the tower by him. Old Jimmy, as he was affectionately called, was proud of his bells. He always went through the ceremony of describing how the bells should be rung, which bells were odd struck and which should be rung close at handstroke and wide at backstroke.”
“If a band attempted a peal he always listened to it and timed each 720 to the nearest second and was very critical of the striking. I remember one peal in St. Peters, for some special occasion, when the band was on top form and there was hardly a hitch. When we had finished he came into the Church and exclaimed ‘Marvelous, marvelous, the best peal I have heard here. There was only ten seconds of choppy ringing in the whole peal” I think someone had missed a dodge! I only started one peal with him ringing and we lost it after two hours. He was out of practice then and did not ring very well. I remember that he chewed raisins throughout the ringing”
As well as being a driving force in local ringing and a staunch supporter of the Worcestershire and Districts Change Ringing Association, The Rev. J. F. Hastings was well known as an advisor on bells and belfries. One of the designs in current use in bell hanging for the Stay and Slider mechanism of a bell is still known as the “Hastings” stay. It was suggested to Mr. J. W. Taylor, the famous Loughborough bell founder, by the Rev. J.P. HastIngs and adopted by Taylor’s as a standard fitting.