Malcolm Hooton was born in the village of Walton in 1932. He met and married his wife, Margaret, in 1951 and moved to Stony Stratford.

Malcolm became a parishioner of St Giles church at this time and enrolled as a bell-ringer. (He had started his bell-ringing training at the age of 11). Malcolm recalls the church being gas-lit, "I'll always remember that smell of coal gas, it went straight into my nostrils - we hadn't got any gas where I'd lived at Walton, we'd got hardly anything at all then."

Malcolm became the senior bell-ringer at St Giles church in 1964. His predecessor, Mr. Edwards, had died suddenly in hospital. Malcolm was the youngest bell-ringer at this time but the other bell-ringers showed no interest in taking over the leadership. In fact Malcolm recalls "most of them gradually drifted away because for them it was the end of an era."

Malcolm still heads up a successful and enthusiastic team of bell-ringers at St Mary and St Giles Church.

Malcolm shows us his home-made model of the bell tower workings which he uses for training.