Since last Thursday’s very sad and rather unexpected news of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, residents, businesses and organisations here in Ruddington have been paying their respects in different ways.
Tributes have flooded in online and in person to express our local grief, love and admiration for Britain’s longest ever reigning Monarch, whose Platinum Jubilee was celebrated so magnificently in our village just three months before her death, at the age of 96.
Among the first of these tributes, last Friday (9th September), all 370 pupils and staff at St Peter’s Junior School tied red remembrance ribbons on the school gates at Ashworth Avenue in memory of our Queen (below) and took part in a special assembly to celebrate her life.
Then, prior to prayers and thanks for the life and legacy of her late Majesty at the usual Sunday service, muffled bells rang out at St Peter’s Church following two days of the historic building opening as a quiet and prayerful space, to mark the passing of our Queen. The Church will also be open from 10am to 2pm on Monday, September 19th – now declared an extra UK Bank Holiday – when Her Majesty’s funeral will be taking place down in London.
Vicar of Ruddington, Rev Andrew Buchanan, says: “There will be an opportunity for anyone who wishes to sign or write in a book of condolences and/or to light a candle. Like all funerals, the funeral of HM Queen Elizabeth II, will be a time of both mourning and celebration. For those who don’t want to be alone at this precious time, St Peter’s is open and we’d love to see you.”
Until then, as a period of ‘national mourning’ continues, the flags at the War Memorial outside will remain at half-mast along with the Union flag outside St Peter’s Rooms. Inside, Ruddington Parish Council has also opened a ‘Book of Condolence’ for any residents who would like to sign it – available each day between 9am and 12.30pm up until this Friday. (Its offices will be closed on the day of the Her Majesty’s State Funeral.) We’re also invited to lay floral tributes on the lawn in front of the building.
Other tributes from residents include a new Church Street ‘postbox topper’ created by ‘Ruddington Yarn Ninjas’ and village graffiti artist Ainsley Burton‘s re-creation of Eleanor Tomlinson’s original ‘The Queen with Paddington Bear’ artwork on his garage door along Brookside Road.
Meantime, The Queen’s coffin is continuing its journey south from Balmoral before being placed to lie ‘in state’ in Westminster Hall from 5.00pm this Wednesday 14th September until 6.30am on the day of her funeral, Monday 19th September.
The night before, The Government has invited people to come together to “mourn and reflect on the life and legacy of Queen Elizabeth II” during a minute’s silence. The moment of commemoration will be marked at 8pm this Sunday and could take place at home, on doorsteps or on the street with our neighbours. Alternatively, Ruddington Parish Council is inviting residents, local groups and organisations to join their Chairman at the War Memorial on Church Street to mark the National Moment of Reflection. Cllr Graham Fletcher will say a few words prior to the one-minute silence there at 8pm.
On Monday, the day of The Queen’s state funeral, her coffin will be carried from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey on the State Gun Carriage of the Royal Navy ready for the formal service at 11am. The final journey of The Queen’s coffin will be on Monday afternoon to Windsor Castle. It will be lowered into the Royal Vault before being interred in the King George VI memorial chapel, located inside St George’s Chapel.
Closer to home, residents and visitors are advised that our NCT buses will run to a Sunday timetable on Bank Holiday Monday – meaning there will be no Navy 3 service that day. Also many Ruddington businesses will be closed as both a final mark of respect to Her Majesty and to enable workers to watch the televised ceremony.