Cascade of bells to be heard across county

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A twelve hour cascade of church bells will ring down the length of the Welland Valley on Monday to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The idea was dreamt up by Rosalind Watts of Wilbarston, who has also put weeks pf preparation into organising the huge event.

The bells in every church tower will ring in turn down the valley, from the Welland’s source at Sibbertoft, Northamptonshire, to the Wash sixty five miles away.

The 65 mile (105 km) long valley stretches through five counties - Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire. Of the 44 or so villages along the valley, 34 have church towers with ringable bells.

Ten other churches whose bells can only chime are also joining in. In all more than 230 bells will be ringing during the day.

The first bells will start at 9 am and ring for 20 minutes for each tower, calling to each other down the valley.

The whole process will take 12 hours to ring to the last tower at Surfleet. The last village before the Wash is Fosdyke with its one bell, which will be chimed 60 times at dusk in association with the lighting of its beacon.

The Cascade is the brainchild of Rosalind Willatts who received a letter from Buckingham Palace, conveying the message from the Queen that she was very touched to hear about the twelve-hour Cascade, and extended her heartfelt thanks.

“The idea of one church calling another in turn right down the sixty-five miles of the Welland valley seems a beautiful, traditional, and romantic way to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee,” commented Miss Willatts.