Rutland’s Lord-Lieutenant sends thanks for tribute to HRH Prince Philip


Thank you so much for your letter outlining the extent of the tribute made to mark the life of His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh by Rutland bell ringers. As Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland I am proud and impressed by the range of the bell ringing acrossthe county and that it took place during difficult times. My thanks go to the ringers at Ayston, Braunston, Belton, Brigstock, Caldecott, Cottesmore, Empingham, Glaston, Great Casterton, (Gretton), Hambleton, (Harringworth), Ketton, Langham, Lyddington, Market Overton, Oakham, Preston, Seaton, Tinwell, Uppingham, Whissendine and Wing. I know it has been particularly valued at a time when large gatherings inside have been problematic because of the pandemic. The sound of the bells reaching across our market towns and villages has allowed all who could hear them to feel that they and their locality were a part of our national mourning for the Duke. It has meant a great deal to many people and I am very grateful.


The pandemic has challenged us all. Bell ringers have been able, on occasion, to contribute to other funerals and memorials. I know that in quite a few villages a bell has been tolled to mark someone’s passing. This has been particularly important at a time when people were not allowed in any number into the service itself and were instead just standing in the street as a mark of their respect. Having a bell tolling gave a real sense of an event. It allowed people, who were keeping a social distance from each other, to feel united and part of something. It has been much appreciated.


Please pass on my thanks and admiration for all ringers. I hope to hear the bells more regularly shortly. Like most people I love the sound

In memory of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, 1921-2021

Rutland’s churches are joining those across the country in tolling a single bell at 12.00 noon on 10th April 2021, to mark the sad loss of HRH Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh on 9th April 2021.

Bells will also be tolled prior to church services throughout the week of mourning that has been declared.

A single bell will be tolled 99 times to mark each year of his long and remarkable life.

Rutland County Council has opened a book of condolences to which all are invited to contribute.

Prince Philip asked that flowers should not be laid in his memory, so the Lord Lieutenant of Rutland has established a fund to create a long-lasting Memorial Heritage Orchard, containing fruit trees relevant to the history of Rutland, at the Rutland Showground.

More information and how to donate is on the Lord Lieutenant’s website.

2021 Annual General Meeting

Members should already have received notification that the AGM will be held on 16th January 2021 at 6pm.

Due to the Covid pandemic restrictions the meeting will be held by teleconference using Zoom.

If members have not received the notification email, instructions for joining the Zoom meeting and pdf copies of the papers are available from Sue Webster – tel. 01572 821922.

A Short History of Preston Church Bells

A celebration of the restoration of Preston Church bells will be held on 4th July 2021 (Covid permitting – more information to follow) and all ringers are invited.

The Preston Bells Appeal team has circulated a very interesting and informative booklet entitled ‘A Short History of Preston Church Bells’. This can be downloaded from the Preston village website – see http://www.preston-rutland.btck.co.uk/TheChurchBells

More information is available from The Church Warden, The Church of St Peter and St Paul, 5 Church Lane, Preston, Rutland LE15 9NG – and from Preston’s page on this website.

VJ day 75 years on

15th August 2020
Whilst VE Day (Victory in Europe) marked the end of the war in Europe in May 1945, many
thousands of Armed Forces personnel were still engaged in bitter fighting in the Far East.
Victory over Japan would come at a heavy price, and Victory over Japan Day (VJ Day) marks
the day Japan surrendered on 15 August 1945, which in effect ended the Second World War.
The plan to ring in all the towers in Rutland on VJ Day wasn’t possible with the current Covid 19 restrictions in place. However, a few towers did ring to mark 75 years of the ending of WW2, whilst observing social distancing measures and wearing face masks/coverings.


Caldecott Mary Davidson, Judy Lea, John Nicolls, Brian Newman
Plain Hunt with decaying rounds into the 11:00 silence.


Gt Casterton Ann Archer, Don McGarrigle, Jon Peacock
Call changes for about 20 minutes followed by tolling in rounds 25 times (making a total of 75 tolls).


Hambleton A single bell was chimed 75 times. The declaration was read and a group of socially distanced hand bell ringers from Ketton and Hambleton performed 4 methods and a selection of forces related music / songs.


Ketton David Rippin chimed 75 times on bell No 4 to mark 75 years since the end of the war. The Rev Olwen Woolcock said a prayer and read out the declaration from Bruno Peek, which was followed with the chiming.


Tinwell Simon Forster chimed a single bell 75 times, a bugle played last post and reveille either side of the silence, and the declaration was read through a megaphone.
Uppingham Sue Webster, Ted Phillips, Thomas Saunders, Brian Newman
Ringing of rounds after a wreath laying ceremony.


Whissendine Janet Underwood, Peter Furness, Dave Brown, John and Julia Brookes.
Half muffled ringing for 25 minutes. before a small wreath laying ceremony.
Prayers were led by Rev Deborah Marsh.


St Peter & St Paul, Uppingham
All Saints, Oakham
Short ceremonies were held in Whissendine, Oakham &
Uppingham. Wreaths were laid at the war memorials in each location by Dr Sarah Furness, Lord Lieutenant of Rutland, and Richard Cole, High Sheriff of Rutland.

Covid-19 silences belltowers!

Sadly, as a result of central government advice, all bell ringing in Rutland has ceased until the danger of transmission of the Covid-19 virus has passed. (Ringing chambers are not large enough for everyone to stand more than 2 metres apart, and viruses may well survive on bellropes). The CCCBR has produced a short video explaining why:

Normal service will resume as soon as it’s allowed. Probably with a bit of additional ringing just to celebrate.

Remembrance Day Ringing

On Remembrance Sunday church bells rang out all over Rutland, many of them half-muffled, to remember those who died or were injured in armed conflicts. Most services were in the morning, with silence at 11.00; the main County service was in Oakham at 2.30 pm, attended by the Lord-Lieutenant of the County, the High Sheriff, Sir Alan Duncan and many other civic dignitaries, together with an impressive display of military personnel.

Even more bells would have been rung if only Rutland had more bell ringers! Please follow this link if you think you might be interested in learning.