It was extremely heartening to see all the performances – many by ringers rarely appearing on BellBoard, let alone the Ringing World or anywhere in print – for the Platinum Jubilee. We can, of that I have no doubt, be proud of what ringers throughout the Guild achieved.
We shall not see another Platinum Jubilee, but there is, I believe, something else we should celebrate in a year’s time. That will be ringing for the 70th anniversary of the Coronation (2nd June 1953). We clearly all hope the Queen will still be with us on that day.
Brian Harris rang me last night and we had another of our long chats about ringing. In particular he mentioned he has a peal board that used to be on display at Old St Mary’s, Chester (the former church of St Mary-within-the-Walls). It is of the peal of Bob Major that was rung on the day. Eventually it will be returned to the wall where it used to hang. Brian pointed out to me that he and Betty are the only two remaining ringers of that band.
That sent me back to the 1953 Annual Report, and I can identify three more people who rang in Coronation peals and who are still with us. At least one I know for a fact also rang – not a peal – for the Platinum Jubilee. I think we should make something of this, and if any other ringers who rang a peal for the Coronation and are still ringing we ought to know who they are.
The 1953 Annual Report makes a big thing of ringing for the Queen, of course:
The outstanding event of the 1953 was, of course, the Coronation of our Queen, and the bells of the Diocese had their share in the general rejoicing. Peals in honour of the occasion were rung on the day at Macclesfield (Christ Church), Chester (St. Mary-within-the-Walls), Sutton and Disley, and at Bebington, Bidston, Birkenhead, Bowdon, Chelford, Frodsham, Grappenhall, Macclesfield (St. Peter), Oxton, Wallasey (St Hilary) and Witton afterwards.
All the 15 peals are now on BellBoard, and you can find all the names there. Please let me or your Branch Secretary know if any others ringing a peal for the Coronation are still with us
I’m going to make sure this get mentioned at the next Guild Committee Meeting, and then – I hope – your Branch Secretary will mention it soon afterwards.
David Adams (CDG Archivist)