Historic occasion as bell ringers mark royal funeral at Shrewsbury church

The bells of a Shrewsbury church will be rung by three young Duke of Edinburgh winners to mark Prince Phillip's funeral this weekend.

Three Duke of Edinburgh award winners will be ringing the bells of Trinity Church in Meole Brace. L>R:  Frankie Hartland 16, Andy Digby, Laura Burrows, Michael Carding and Josh Oakley 16
Three Duke of Edinburgh award winners will be ringing the bells of Trinity Church in Meole Brace. L>R: Frankie Hartland 16, Andy Digby, Laura Burrows, Michael Carding and Josh Oakley 16

In what is hoped will sound "hauntingly beautiful", the tribute by Duke of Edinburgh students past and present will mark the Duke's funeral after he passed away on Friday, April 9.

Joshua Oakley, 16, Tom Willis, 16, and Frankie Hartland, 15 will each ring the bells at Holy Trinity Church, Meole Brace on Saturday as part of a national bell tolling for the Duke's funeral.

The youngsters will be joined by church tower captain, Michael Carding, and church member, Laura Burrows, who also took part in the Duke of Edinburgh scheme when they were younger.

Michael explained: "We plan to have three teenagers who are doing the Duke of Edinburgh who are also bell ringers with us at Meole Brace. They are doing the bell ringing as a section of their award.

"We thought, instead of the older bell ringers doing it, why not give the youngsters the opportunity and they have responded so well. The group were very happy to be asked and they are so excited.

"One person will toll the bell, then another will take over on a different bell, so we can stay Covid safe."

All five of them have connections to the scheme, and Michael said it is a huge honour for all of them.

"Each person will have their own bell and it will be half-muffled, which means leather is on one side of the clapper so it creates a more muffled and dull sound," added.

"I am sure it will sound hauntingly beautiful. They have not said exactly when the bells will ring yet but it will be sometime in the afternoon."

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