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Post-Commemoration UPDATES...

  • Here is the promised photograph. Derrick Dodson (Maximo Engineer) on one end of the pole, myself on the other. The site is the lit chart table area at the back of the Aurora’s bridge; it was of course dark outside and on the other side of the curtain the Officer of the Watch was standing his duty as the ship steadily managed heavy seas and strong winds, blowing snow and passing bergs. On his knees, Captain Murray Doyle is ringing the bell and in the background with camera is the 1st mate Gary. I can confirm that all are more than pleased for their image and names to be used. Best wishes mate, Kim
    Thanks Kim. For my part a lone bell rang out on the wharf at Davis and at least one mind in Antarctica contemplated what it meant to be free to make choices for oneself and to be allowed to have an opinion. Please thank all those involved. Cheers, Graham Cook.
  • I rang my bike bell on Dartmoor, but as there was noone around there was no effect. I did circulate the Round Robin to staff in the School of Arts, Languages and Literatures, and had supportive responses. A friend played the cello in Westminster Abbey and was clearly visible behind the protester. A colleague and I discussed this, this morning, and thought that the protester's remarks, "Let Go of Me" were particularly appropriate. Bob
  • Salford Roman Catholic Cathedral - in conjunction with many other cathedrals and churches - joined the ringing commemoration of the moment the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act, signed by King George III, became law in 1807.
  • The Quaker Meeting in Hampton Road, Redland, Bristol finished 5 minutes early to give everyone a chance to get out into the street and join in Bells Unbound.
  • On the Alumni webpage of "Hebron School in Tamil Nadu, South India", CarolynJoy posted news of Bells Unbound, ending with the message, "Let's make a noise!!!" To which Queenie R. Keir replied "I didn't have a bell but I used a knife tapping lightly on a glass. This is an important moment although there are still some terrible things happening out there. We had a series in our local Ottawa, Canada, newspapers this past summer recounting the travels and travails as slaves fled the U.S. and tried to make it to Canada via the Underground Railroad. Although they were not home free even then, many were able to make a better life for themselves and their families. Today, there was a page article similar to the one on the web site. Thanks for making us remember."
  • St James the Great, Winscombe (North Somerset) rang the bells for 10 minutes at 12noon on Sunday, Good striking from the learners and experienced! Fiona Slade-Deputy ringing master.
  • St. Mary's Parish Church, Collingbourne Kingston, Wiltshire. 5pm Sunday 25th March 2007. Prior to sung evensong, a quarter peal attempt of 1,260 changes. If sucessful, will publish details here, and in the ringing world. Mike Holt, Tower Captain and Correspondent.
  • James Newton: The bell ringers of St.Mary Arnold, Nottingham rang 5 minutes of Plain Bob Minimus at 12 noon 25th March for Freedom Sunday.
  • Tony Foster: The home band of bellringers at St. Mary's, Holme-Next-The-Sea, Norfolk, England will be ringing at noon on Sunday 25th March, 2007 to join the chorus of celebration to mark the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Act to Abolish Slavery.
  • We rang at noon today here in Miami. Thanks for letting us know about this important anniversary. I actually heard about it on the news this morning.
    Best regards, Rob Bannister (Tower Captain, Trinity Cathedral, Miami).
  • Graham writes from Antarctica: Hi June, I just wanted to let you know that your call for all to ring a bell for freedom did not go unnoticed. For my part a lone bell was sounded as I stood overlooking the forming sea ice at the bottom end of this amazing planet while snow silently fell around me at Davis Station on the Antarctic continent. I stood there alone and contemplated how lucky I was to be free to make the choices that allowed me to be in this incredible place and the injustice that continues to rob others of this freedom and many other basic human rights.
    Following is an email from my Boss who at Noon or 12:00 Zulu was on board the icebreaker Aurora Australis about 500 nautical miles north of Casey Station in the Southern Ocean.
  • "Evening Graham, Thought I should report in that we sounded a bell at 251200z this evening. I hope I remembered your advice about the time correctly.
    Murray repatriated the ship's brass bell from it's stowage and brought it to the bridge; a small number of good looking sensitive souls gathered at the appropriate time, Derrick Dodson and I hoisted it to our shoulders on a pole and at the appointed hour Murray rang a strong clear peal form the Southern Ocean to join those echoing around the rest of the world today! Robb Clifton and Mick Davidson recorded the vent for posterity.
    Thanks for bringing this opportunity to my attention - like you we kept it discreet, no preaching or banging of drums .... just a single bell sounding out celebrating the ending of slavery in one nation state, and the desire for it to end in all others! Stay safe! Kim"
  • Jane writes from New Zealand: I have been living in Nelson for nearly 6 months, but have not as yet, become involved in local bell-ringing, partly because the ringing in Nelson is done differently to what I've been used to, but also because of all that is involved in settling in to a new home, especially when the move was from Somerset. However, I did relay your message to ringers at Christchurch, Wellington and Dunedin. My friend in Dunedin sent it on to contacts in Auckland and Hamilton as well. I'll forward the message I got from one of the Christchurch ringers, for your interest, and will let you know if I get to learn of any noon ringing (25th March) over here. A friend in Carhampton said they would be ringing the bells for that occasion.
  • Shirley writes from Canada: Just got in from the garage where I rang my bike bell for Bells Unbound at noon my time. I kind of like the way that bells will ring throughout the day, whenever noon strikes across the world. Just wanted you to know that you have my support. Love, Shirley.
  • Brenda writes from France: Well, I'm not sure if I succeeded or not. Apparently the bells are always rung throughout France at midday on Sundays. I spoke to the mayor and he told me nothing could be done (but apparently he always says nothing can be done bless him - he's not very popular) but I then spoke to someone who runs the little local shop and she suggested I contact the pharmacist's wife whose husband eventually gave me a church contact. (This is how village life works in France.) So I wrote off and hope that the slaves will have been remembered in prayers in the churches around Thiviers. It was pointed out that it was an English anniversary and the French are very keen on doing things their way. Who knows, they might set up a whole event of their own? I love it here! With loving kindness, Brenda.
  • Glenn writes from The Bell Inn, Tillington, Herefordshire: We do have the local church bell ringers coming in on a regular basis so I'll pass this on. Cheers, Glenn.
  • Malcolm writes: Keep up the good work! Pleased to see that you are reminding us of the continuing shadow of 'modern' slavery which still abounds in africa, asia, the middle east and the indian subcontinent, and by extension into Britain, Europe and North America, through through direct slavery, 'white slavery', bonded labour and the like. You have my total support!
  • Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott wrote to Bristol West MP Stephen Williams: "I was very interested to hear of the proposal that chuch bells should be rung at midday on Sunday 25 March to commemorate the time that Royal Assent was given to the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act in 1807. I have written to the Chief Executives of both Liverpool and Hull City Councils to draw their attention to the proposal, and point out it would be a particularly appropriate act of rememberance if this were to happen in those port cities. I would ask you to pass on my appreciation to June Burrough for her excellent suggestion, which i'm sure will make a very appropriate contribution to those commemorations. It was through the efforts of men and women across the UK that the slave trade was eventually brought to an end, and it is wonderful to hear of people today playing such an active part in the commemorations this year."
  • David from Bristol: Thank you for your note about bell ringing in Portland Square this Sunday. Originally I was hoping to be there, but have discovered I am in Westbury-on-Trym that morning and cannot get down in time. However, I am encouraging them to join the peal at 12 noon as well, so I am with you in spirit. In the afternoon I shall be at the cathedral for the special service on the Abolition of the Slave Trade. But still it goes on in other forms!!!
  • Dear June, Zimbabwe does not have many churches with bells, but I can confirm that most of them were rung at noon. Because of your initiative many other churches wove the Abolition of the Slave Trade into their church services. With many thanks, Ruth Hutchinson.

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The Preparations...

  • Rod & Marian : Here at the Bluebell Inn at Hempstead near Saffron Walden in Essex we are having a music session all weekend starting on Friday night. We shall be ringing all sorts of bells at 12 noon on Sunday to support you. Good luck & best wishes. Rod & Marian.
  • The coming weekend will be a memorable one, I believe, and your contribution will be significant in making it so.”
  • St Paul’s Cathedral, London. “I have consulted about what we should do, and although we are totally supportive of your campaign, we are not able, for a range of reasons, to participate ourselves. The coming weekend will be a memorable one, I believe, and your contribution will be significant in making it so.”
  • “I will certainly pass it on to Tbilisi city hall, and to contacts in the Tbilisi State university and the church there. I also suggest you send info. to the Georgian Ambassador in London, Gela Charkviani. at 4 Russell Gardens, London, W14 8EZ. I also suggest you send the information directly to the Mayor of Tbilisi, Giorgi Ugulava through Nino Beglarishvili who the BTA arranged to come to work in Bristol City Council and learn all about our twinning, for one month in March 2007. The Lord Mayor of Bristol is making a visit to the twinned city in April and thus this information you sent is very appropriate.”
  • “I shall do my best to have the bell ringers of Washington's National Cathedral, Washington D.C. dedicate their ringing at Noon this coming Sunday on this truly momentous anniversary”
  • “Thank you for your message. I will gladly spread the word in the Diocese of Lexington Kentucky“
  • Bishop of Hull, East Yorkshire: “Many thanks. Lots happening here about it all”
  • Dioces of Bath and Wells: " At the request of the Bishop, I have e-mailed the clergy in Bath and Wells so this diocese should be a noisy place on 25 March!!!"
  • Harare, Zimbabwe: “We are planning to join your Bells Unbound Programme by ringing the bells in Harare Anglican Cathedral at 12 midday (10 am in UK) next Sunday March 25th. Also we need to know that those who are making a noise in the street are to shout. eg FREEDOM from SLAVERY, or just Freedom. I think that most people here would bang a saucepan lid.”
  • “I will be in Ireland on a 5-day course - I will however be taking a small bowl which I will strike at midday and make the group aware of the date.”
  • “Thought you may be interested to hear that your message has indeed spread around the world! I live in New Zealand, and have bell-ringing contacts over here. They now have a copy of the request to ring bells at noon, on 25th March.”
  • Slave Britain - A Photography Exhibition by Panos Pictures
    As Britain prepares to commemorate 200 years since the abolition of the slave trade, a new Panos exhibition at St Paul's Cathedral reveals how human trafficking is a bitter reality for thousands of women, men and children in the UK today.
    Slave Britain artfully documents the ordinary lives and everyday locations caught up in trafficking and calls for an end to this illegal 21st century trade.
    The show is produced by Panos Pictures in partnership with Amnesty International, Anti-Slavery International, Eaves and UNICEF UK.
    The exhibition runs from 21 February to 29 March 2007.
    It is open from 8.30am – 4pm and although the exhibition itself is free there is an entry charge of £9.50 to the Cathedral – concessions £8.50.
  • Set All Free : Group Show Art Exhibition 24th March to 24th April 2007 at the Grant Bradley Gallery, Bedminster, Bristol.
  • In Nailsea, North Somerset, Holy Trinity Church are doing a quarter peal on Tuesday 27th March as part of an event about Abolition and Slavery.
  • Sierra Leone is joining in:
    Madam, I am Salis Bangs, Program Coordinator Same boat Project Sierra Leone Branch. As Member of the Same Boat project we would like to notify your organization that our organization will be delighted to take part in this event. We include all affilite organizations to surely participate in this highly interesting event.
    Yours in development, Salis Bangs - Same Boat Project Sierra Leone
  • "I've circulated your Robin round the staff in the School, and one has just told me that she'll be ringing her bike bell. So will I at home on Dartmoor."
  • Canterbury Cathedral bells will be rung from 2-3pm on March 25th.
  • "I am so pleased to hear that you have joined forces for this to happen. For years now a friend has wanted the bells to ring as at the time the bells only rang when it was not passed in the government to abolish slaves. But it never rang when the abolition happened."
  • "I do have a little silver bell, which I ring during my prayers, so I will ring it on Sunday the 25th at Noon and think of all those little girls and boys locked up in the cages of Bombay, and all those carpet workers chained to their looms and gosh the list is endless. Nice Idea, I am also sending it to a friend, who is an Anglican Minister of a Church in Buffalo, now he will have a bell, and I have a feeling he will ring it."
  • "I shall be on a National Express coach, but will find someway to mark this moving occasion. Best Wishes, Charlotte"
  • Bristol Cathedral, St Mary Redcliffe and St Stephen's churches in Bristol,UK will peal their bells at noon.
  • The Pierian Centre is arranging a gathering of people at 11.45am ready for a peal of morris dancers, bicycles, and bells of all descriptions at noon in Portland Square, Bristol, UK.
  • In America, a lone Morris Dancer has promised to "Shake a leg at noon March 25, bells on." from the American Travelling Morrice group.
  • Local churches throughout the UK are already committed to the event.
  • Westminster Abbey are holding an evening commemoration service at 6.30pm. Then on Tuesday March 27th when the Queen attends a service they will be pealing their bells in London, UK.
  • And we are waiting to hear from the Vatican, the Dalai Lama, the United Nations, Unicef, Set All Free, Make Poverty History, Members of Parliament and hundreds of other groups, organisations and individuals in Australia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Norway, Columbia and around the world.
  • What an inspiring newsletter! I am off on holiday on March 25th, but will ring a bell at midday local time. Elizabeth.


A World Wide Ring Of Freedom