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Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

On Thursday 8th September 2022 it was announced that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had died.


This news started a chain of activity in belfries across the country. The death of a monarch is one of only two occasions when bells are to be rung fully-muffled; this means a leather pad is fitted to both sides of the clapper to deaden the sound of the bell, giving it a unique sound. Our steeple keeper Len, along with a couple of our other ringers got the bells ready for ringing over the next 10 days of national mourning.


The first of our ringing took place on the Friday morning, the tenor bell was tolled for a full hour with three of our ringers taking turns during that time.


Sunday morning service ringing was fully-muffled with the tenor left open at backstroke. One of our ringers went up to the roof to capture this unique sound.




 

On Sunday afternoon the local proclamation of His Majesty King Charles III took place at the West end of Hereford Cathedral. To celebrate as the flag was raised to full mast, we rang open. This meant our steeple keeper had a busy afternoon, all the muffles were removed before we rang and then replaced again once we had finished to continue the official mourning period.



 


Our Ringing Master Nicky, was also having a very busy time organising all the extra ringing that was taking place. The next weekend some of our ringers with a few extras rang a peal of Grandsire Triples with the bells fully-muffled. It was the first time a fully-muffled peal had ever been rung at the cathedral, it took 3 hours 29 minutes for the band to complete.



And on Sunday afternoon our local band rang a quarter peal before the Evensong commemorating the life of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.



The final piece of ringing was on the day of the funeral. Again the tenor was tolled for a full hour, this time immediately before the funeral service of Her Late Majesty.



God save the Queen.


Long live the King.

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