Desborough bell-ringer ready to mark the jubilee - 70 years after ringing-in Queen's coronation

He rang the bells to mark the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II

Tuesday, 31st May 2022, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 31st May 2022, 9:16 am
David Loake will ring bells at St Giles' Church in Desborough for the Platinum Jubilee
David Loake will ring bells at St Giles' Church in Desborough for the Platinum Jubilee

Royal occasions have marked many important milestones in Desborough man David Loake’s life, and the Platinum Jubilee will provide yet another.

Descending from generations of bell-ringers at St Giles’ Church, Mr Loake will once again climb the vertical ladder to the belfry to ring the bells of the medieval church.

His first ‘Royal’ bell-ringing duty was back in 1953 when he joined a group to ring-in the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II when he was a 14-year-old schoolboy.

Mr Loake (second from left) in the belfry in 1953

Now the 84-year-old will come out of bell-ringing retirement to join in the sonorous celebrations as the Queen marks 70 years on the throne.

He said: “I got in touch with the bell-ringers so I could be part of the team. They are going to get as many people as possible.

"All my family were bell-ringers. I was the bell-ringing captain from 1960 to 1974. We have a family bell that was given in memory of my great-great-grandfather, Jonathan Deacon.”

Mr Loake started ringing at the age of 12 and rang in the coronation on the morning of June 2. He hadn’t learned the ropes to join in the three-hour long coronation peal, although he was allowed to take part in a quarter peal a week later.

After ringing, he remembers dashing back to a relative’s house to watch the event on a TV with a dozen family members crammed around the set.

He said: “I was born in the coronation year of King George VI, I started work in 1953, for the Silver Jubilee I was the chairman of the town council and for the Golden Jubilee I retired. Now for the 70th the major thing is that I’m still alive.”

Mr Loake had to give up bell-ringing five years ago but will once again scale the ladder to the access the ringing chamber.

He added: “There’s always been a member of my family ringing. I’m determined to get up there.”

The Jubilee peal will take place from 10.40am on June 3.

The coronation of Elizabeth II took place on June 2, 1953 at Westminster Abbey. She acceded to the throne at the age of 25 upon the death of her father, George VI, on February 6, 1952.