Ringing for the death of two monarchs

On Friday 9 September, I had the privilege of ringing St. Mary’s bells to mark the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second (See details here). For me, this was a significant occasion because on Tuesday the sixth of February 1952, I had the equal privilege of ringing to mark the death of her father King George VI.

I don’t think there are many bell ringers who are still ringing church bells and who rang on both these occasions left.

In 1952, I was a ringer at St. Bartholomew’s Church in Rainhill and I remember the ringing well. Because of the solemnity of the occasion ringing had to be “half muffled” as it was at Weaverham. Therein lay a problem:- we didn’t have any muffles. These are leather pads which are fitted to the bell clappers to make the bells sound very mellow. So, what to do! To solve our dilemma the tower captain cut pieces of carpet and tied these to the clappers and lo and
behold, they worked perfectly.

Stuart Bracegirdle