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World War II ended in 1945, and this year, 60 years on, Sunday 10th July was declared as the official day of commemoration. Through Ministry of Defence asked the Central Council of Church Bellringers to encourage ringers across the country to ring the bells of their churches at 5pm on that day. This would synchronise with ringing for commemorative events in London.
The basic request was to ring for a short period, but here at All Saints, we decided that something a little more was appropriate. As well as the standard ringing performances of peals (5000+ changes) and quarter peals there is a tradition of ringing ‘date touches’, which have the same number of changes as the year in which they are rung. They are normally rung around New Year. For this occasion, we decided to ring a ‘backdated’ date touch of 1945 changes. Conveniently, a suitable composition of Grandsire Triples had been published in The Ringing World.
The performance was a combined effort with five ringers from All Saints and three from St Pauls (currently without bells). The performance was successful, and after an hour and seven minutes the bells ran round. It had been extremely hot, made worse because that day the weather suddenly turned very hot, so we took a short breather before ringing another short touch for the evensong that followed.
John Harrison ( July 2005)
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