Abbey Church of St Mary and St Helena
Sunday, 16 August 2020 in 15m (8–2–0 in G)
1 Sarah-Louise Ward
2 Glynda Easterbrook
3 Jane Edis
4 Peter Williams
5 Stephen Stanford
6 Richard Hillson
Rung between the Sunday morning services and specially arranged to mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day. Elstow is the spiritual home of the Bedford and District FEPOW Association.
The 5th Battalion Beds & Herts Regiment landed in Singapore on 29 January 1942 just two weeks before its fall on 15 February. 375 men lost their lives, 232 of them in captivity, the remainder surviving the notorious POW camps. Amongst their number was Sgt Peter Hartley who, following his return, succeeded his Father as Vicar of this parish (1952-1976) and served as Chaplain to the FEPOW Association. He dedicated the FEPOW Memorial Altar in the Bunyan Chapel of the Abbey on Sunday 5th May 1957.
Alternate bells were rung from two different floors, this being the first ringing since 15 March and the lockdown. Elstow is possibly the only tower where all bells have been rung while maintaining more than 2m (horizontal and vertical) social distancing and with all other safeguards in place. The ringers of 3 and 4 have learned within the last 2 years and were ringing without the benefit of ropesight for the first time. (Video clip on YouTube) https://youtu.be/UUgNkbwhzyc
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