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