Published: Mon 24th July, 2023
The centenary of Loughborough’s war memorial, the Carillon Tower, was marked with a series of commemorations over the weekend.
Charnwood Borough Council organised the events on Saturday July 22, exactly 100 years since the official opening of the Carillon Tower, and on Sunday July 23.
A special recital was performed in Loughborough’s Queen’s Park before a Thanksgiving Service took place on Saturday.
A new musical composition called ‘Silent Chimes’, which was written to mark the tower’s centenary, was premiered during the service. The piece, featuring a mixture of carillon chimes and spoken word to reflect the history of the bells, was created by local composer Pip Greasley.
Several organisations within the Loughborough Heritage Forum hosted information stalls where visitors were able to learn more about the history of the tower and the town.
Cllr Jennifer Tillotson, the Council’s lead member for Economic Development, Regeneration and Town Centres, said: “We are so proud of the Carillon Tower and it is important that we marked its centenary with some fantastic events over the weekend.
“I was so pleased to see residents and visitors come to Queen’s Park to mark this historic date.”
Mayor of Charnwood, Cllr Margaret Smidowicz, said: “The Carillon Tower is an important monument in Loughborough and has played a key role in many historic events and services over the last 100 years whilst also paying respect to those who lost their lives in the First World War and subsequent conflicts.”
The Thanksgiving Service was led by the Revd. Wendy Dalrymple, Chaplain to the Loughborough Branch of the Royal British Legion and included a reading from the Mayor of Charnwood.
The crowds were entertained by local musical performers, Embers Duo during the afternoon.
The Carillon Tower was open throughout the weekend for visitors to explore and to take in the stunning views of Loughborough from the top of the tower.
The Carillon Tower War Memorial Museum, located at the bottom of the tower, was open for the public to learn more about the Carillon and its 100-year history.
The borough’s carillonneur, Caroline Sharpe, hosted fully-booked talks across the weekend, demonstrating how the Carillon is played.
Caroline Sharpe, the borough carillonneur, said: “It was an honour to be able to play the centenary recital, to premiere Pip's fantastic piece and to share my experience of being Loughborough's carillonneur with all the visitors to the tower.”
Mel Gould, chairman of the Loughborough Carillon Tower and War Memorial Museum, said: “On this day in 1923 the people of Loughborough and many more from far and wide gathered here in Queen's Park to witness the unveiling of this grand memorial to the men of the town who had fallen in the Great War.
"They had paid for it through public subscriptions and their efforts were rewarded by this most noble and beautiful building. Each man's name recorded for posterity.
"We should be grateful for the sacrifices made by the men who died but also those people who contributed so that Loughborough has a unique and iconic memorial."
On Sunday, July 23, another Carillon recital took place ahead of a bandstand concert in Queen’s Park from the Charnwood Concert Band
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