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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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History repeating itself for Whitehaven bellringer

History will repeat itself for Jack McTear when the bells ring out for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Jack McTear photo
Jack McTear

Veteran bellringer Jack McTear will help ring a special quarter peal at St James Church, Whitehaven on Sunday, nearly 60 years after having rung for the Queen’s Coronation.

Jack, now 76, was just 16 when in June 1953 he was part of a team of ringers who rang a quarter peal at St Michael’s Church, Workington.

He said: “A television set had been brought into the church hall so we could all watch the coronation. I had never seen a television set before.

“We rang the quarter peal while the ceremony was going on, during intervals.

“Then, about a week later I was at St Mary’s and St Michael’s Church, Egremont to ring a full peal, also in honour of the coronation.’’

Jack, who lives at Hillcrest, Whitehaven, has celebrated numerous royal occasions since by bellringing.

This time the Whitehaven bells will ring from 3pm to 4pm, prior to an open-air Songs of Praise service in St Nicholas Gardens.

The bells of St Andrew’s Church in Penrith will also be heard on Sunday before the community jubilee service at 7pm and again from 10-11pm on June 4 as the Penrith Beacon is lit on top of the church tower.

There will also be a special peal attempt at around 5pm on June 5.

On the same day Carlisle Cathedral, St Mary’s Church in Wigton and the refurbished bells at Orton will be ringing from 10am to 10.30am.

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