The bells of the Queen's Tower on Imperial's South Kensington Campus hailed the arrival of the Royal baby earlier this week.
The ten bells, collectively known as the "Alexandra Peal”, are rung only to mark Royal anniversaries and significant College occasions.
When news broke that the Royal baby was likely to born on Monday afternoon, a band of ringers was quickly assembled to ring the bells from 13.00-14.00 on 23 July.
"I received a call on Monday from the College to ask if we could ring the bells to celebrate the birth of the Royal baby. After a series of emails and phone calls, I had assembled our team by Tuesday morning."
– James White
James White has been a bell ringer since 1994 and has rung the Queen’s Tower bells regularly over the last thirteen years. James said: “I received a call on Monday from the College to ask if we could ring the bells to celebrate the birth of the Royal baby. After a series of emails and phone calls, I had assembled our team by Tuesday morning.”
The band of ringers comprised many of the regular ringers at the Tower including, Christopher Ridley, Professor Stephen Smith (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Caroline Prescott, Dennis Ellisdon, John Hibbert, Nicholas Small, Simon Meyer, James White, Lucinda Woodward (Conductor) and Phillip Ridley.
On top of climbing the 239 steps to the ringing room, the physical task of ringing the bells in the hot weather proved quite a challenge. As James explained: “The Queen’s Tower bells have a total weight of around eight tons. The Tower also sways when the bells are rung, and you have to be mindful of this to ensure you strike the bell in the right place. The Queen’s Tower is one of the most challenging places to ring in the country so it requires very experienced ringers.”
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