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Bellringer at Christ Church, Spitalfields receives MBE in New Years Honours list

PUBLISHED: 15:39 02 January 2018 | UPDATED: 15:39 02 January 2018

Alan Regin with the bells for St George's Memorial Church, Ypres. Picture: Alan Regin

Alan Regin with the bells for St George's Memorial Church, Ypres. Picture: Alan Regin

Alan Regin

A Spitalfields bellringer has been recognised in the Queen’s New Year honours list, receiving an MBE for services to campanology.

Alan Regin, 58, of Maud Road, Plaistow is a ringer at Christ Church in Spitalfields.

However Alan also documents the war records of bellringers who fought in the first and second world wars and is leading a campaign to ring the bells in the local church on the 100th anniversary of their death. One such ringing is due to happen in Newham early next year.

Alan, who is originally from Surrey but has lived in London since 1992, said he is delighted to be awarded the honour.

“When I read the letter it reduced me to tears,” he said.

“It was something I have done because I have enjoyed it and really wanted to do so to be recognised for it is fantastic.”

Alan has personally added over 300 names to the Rolls of Honour, which is a list of bellringers who lost their lives while serving in the first and second world wars.

The tally had stood at 1,100 until Alan started his research, which consisted of using old issues of the weekly bellringing newspaper The Ringing World to track down the war records of people known to be bellringers.

Alan’s work also saw bells installed to St George’s Memorial Church, which is in Ypres and commemorates the servicemen that died near the Belgian town.

To pay for the bells £195,000 was raised from charitable donations and members of the public. the bells were first rung in 2017.

This was at a centenary ceremony which commemorated the three major First World War battles that took place near Ypres, which included Passchendaele, one of the war’s key battles.

Alan was put forward for his MBE by fellow bellringers.

He highly recommends the activity and is urging others to take it up.

“It was something I loved from the very first moment,” he said.

“It is a real team activity and there is a physical aspect to it, there is a mental aspect to it and there is a very good social side to it as well,” he said.

Alan hopes that off the back of his historical work, which has established that 1,400 bellringers died in the war, he can now help recruit 1,400 new bellringers to churches across the country as a symbolic gesture for those bellringers who lost their lives in war.

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