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March historian turns 90

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A prolific author and authority on Fenland history has seen his 90th birthday marked with the sounds of a West Midlands cathedral.

Trevor Bevis celebrated what was otherwise a "quiet", but also milestone birthday on May 24.

But there was a welcome break in the silence for Trevor, a bell ringer at St Wendreda's Church, March, for 75 years before his recent retirement, when the bells of Worcester Cathedral were rung for him by a computer link-up with the city landmark.

Trevor Bevis was born in Pinchbeck but now lives in the town of March.
Trevor Bevis was born in Pinchbeck but now lives in the town of March.

Trevor, who has researched and written more than 160 books over a 65-year period, said: "I had a quite birthday as I don't like a lot of noise.

"But because I was a bellringer at March Parish Church for 75 years, St Wendreda's Bellringers were going to ring a quarter peal for me of March Delight Minor for my birthday, made up of about 1,272 changes or an hour of non-stop ringing.

"However, they couldn't raise a team so a lady from Peterborough organised a computerised peal of bell notes from Worcester Cathedral.

"It had never happened to me before and it reminded me of the days when I'd cycle for thousands of miles, from March to Wales, Yorkshire and Kent, mostly in connection with me touring cathedrals and churches."

Trevor, married to wife June for 59 years and who together three children "all nicely employed", said Trevor, and six grandchildren, lived in Pinchbeck's Rotten Row until the age of nine when he and his parents moved to March at the start of World War II in 1939.

"After we moved to March, I worked for a printer where one of my jobs was setting columns in newspapers.

"I held the record for setting the newspaper column in the quickest time which was 50 minutes.

"I was keen on finding out things, why things happened and how, so I wrote books, some dealing with Lincolnshire, but the majority dealing with the Fens.

"One of my best books was called The Railway at March, one of the largest working railway yards in Europe after the war.

"Two of my favourite characters to write about were Hereward of the Fens and Oliver Cromwell who lived in the Fens for quite a while.

"Bellringing, cycling and writing are all fine exercises which did me no harm at all and I enjoyed every minute of them."

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