Margaret Anne Bale (nee: Ridd) obituary

16th October 1959 to 18th February 2020

Margaret was born in Ashtead, Surrey, where she lived all her life.

She started ringing at the age of 12 and progressed with a group of friends, all of similar age, to be a competent although not very ambitious ringer.

With the increase in Surprise ringing that accompanied Roger and Adrienne Heyworth’s arrival in Ashtead in the 1980’s Margaret’s ringing developed rapidly progressing from plain courses of Cambridge Minor to ringing quarters of 4 Spliced Major.

Margaret married husband Mike in 1984, and shortly after transferred her allegiance to St Martin of Tours Epsom, where Mike rang, while still ringing at Ashtead.

In 1987 daughter Jacqueline arrived followed in 1988 by son Richard, both of whom learnt to ring.

Her secretarial, PA and Event Organising career made her an ideal candidate for the Tower Secretary role, which she performed at Ashtead for many years before transferring to do the same role at Epsom in 1987, a post she held until January 2019.

In October 1994 both Margaret and Mike were elected members of this Society, proposed by Martyn Harbott, a long time Auditor and Independent Examiner for the Society, and fellow ringer at Epsom. Margaret was the first person elected to the Society without having already rung a peal. She had been given medical dispensation due to her diabetes. With support and encouragement from members like John Barnes, Margaret rang her first peal, as a Cumberland, to celebrate the life of Martyn when he passed away in 2004. She went on to ring 2 further peals.

With Mike, Margaret was instrumental in starting up new bands at 3 local towers, and in helping with training for the Guildford Guild. She had a very mean role as an awkward learner during Train the Trainer Course role play. This is frequently commented on by those unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end.

In 2014 Margaret was elected Secretary of the Guildford Diocesan Guild, a role she held for 4 years until resigning, as part of a general scaling down of non-family activities, in order to spend more time looking after her ailing parents.

Margaret was diagnosed with an unknown cancer in October 2019, started chemotherapy in January 2020 and, after multiple side effects, was transferred to Princess Alice Hospice in Esher where she died on 18th February. The close family were by her bedside.