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A rich heritage - Ringing the Bells

On 6th May 2023 twelve bellringers climbed the tower to join with churches across the UK ringing for the King's Coronation. They each have an official badge to prove it! However, Bruce Wakefield, our Tower Captain, is really proud to say he's rung for the coronations of both Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles III.

Tower captain at St Mary's Woodbridge ringing the bells
Bruce Wakefield, Tower Captain at St Mary's, Woodbridge

Bruce comes from a very large ringing family and it's also highly likely that his father, as well as ringing for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, would also have rung for the coronation of King George VI in 1937, because he was a member of a band of young men ringers in the village of Gloucestershire where he lived.

Bruce's daughter, Alyson, and his granddaughters, Willow and Poppy, who live in Cornwall, are all bellringers and rang for the coronation too. The two girls also play in a brass band that is frequently called upon to take part in special events, and they found themselves playing for other coronation-related events in Cornwall.

His son, Paul, learned to ring, but the church he and his family attend in Colchester does not have bells, so he no longer rings regularly, although on rare occasions is persuaded to ring here in Woodbridge when visiting for special events.

Bruce's two brothers, one who lives in Lincolnshire, and the other who lives in Staffordshire, also rang for the coronation of King Charles III in their respective churches.

What a rich heritage and family history of ringing the bells!

A group of bellringers at St Mary's, Woodbridge
The bellringers at St Mary's, Woodbridge

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