St Michael and All Angels
Wednesday, 16 May 2018 in 3h 11 (8–0–8)
6170 Doubles and Minor (9m/1v)
(being, 720 each of: 1. Fryerning Surprise Minor; 2. Westminster Surprise Minor; 3. St Clement’s College Bob Minor; 4. Bourne Surprise Minor; 5. Caithness Surprise Minor; 6. Cambridge Surprise Minor; 7. Norwich Surprise Minor; 8. Oxford Treble Bob Minor; followed by 360 [3 x 120] April Day Doubles & 50 changes of Grandsire Doubles.)
1 Jane A Aked
2 R Nicholas Lawrence (Sqn Ldr RAF (Rtd))
3 Philip R Wild
4 Peter A Limage
5 Stephen L Clarke
6 Christopher C P Woodcock (C)
Specially arranged and rung in ‘Bomber County’ to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the famous ‘Dambusters Raid’ which took place 16th/17th May 1943, on the Ruhr Valley Dams by 617 Squadron which was based at and flew from neighbouring RAF Scampton.
Hackthorn is the closest tower (1.3 miles) with ringing bells to RAF Scampton, standing directly on the north approach to the runway, from where the attack was launched.
The number of changes (6170) was specially chosen to represent 617 Squadron. Longest length on the bells, and for all except 2.
Rung remembering the 133 airmen who participated in this daring raid, but especially the 53 aircrew who were killed during the raid and did not return.
Rung also remembering especially “Barnes Wallis” who came up with the concept and developed the bouncing bombs used in the raid. “Wing Commander Guy Gibson”, Commanding Officer of 617 Squadron who led the raid and finally “Nigger”, Guy Gibson’s black labrador retriever who was the mascot of 617 Squadron. Nigger died on the morning of the Dambusters Raid, 16th May 1943, when he was hit by a car outside RAF Scampton. Nigger was buried at RAF Scampton at midnight at the request of Gibson whilst he was leading the raid, and his grave is still maintained to this day at RAF Scampton just outside Guy Gibson’s office window.
Also dedicated to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Air Force on 1st April 1918.
Rung with the bands best wishes to Johnny Johnson, Britain’s last surviving Dambuster (aged 96).
Following the peal the ringers retired to ‘The Dambusters Inn’ at Scampton for a well earned drink!
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