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.
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.
Branch members met on 11th January 2020 for ringing in Market Overton and Whissendine, a service conducted by the Rev Deborah Marsh, Vicar of Whissendine and the Annual General Meeting of the branch. The minutes of the AGM are now available here.
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.
Ecclesiastical insurance is donating £1000 to 120 charities in the lead up to Christmas. If you would like to nominate the Peterborough Guild of Church Bell Ringers, please go to https://www.ecclesiastical.com/movement-for-good/12-days/ and enter Charity No. 258271. That should bring up the charity on screen as “The Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers”.
The more nominations we have, the greater the chance of being supported!