Yesterday a delegation of trustees of the RSA Trust attended the dedication ceremony for the ring of eight bells cast for St George’s Church, Ypres. The bells have been cast to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele (also known as the Third Battle of Ypres) in 1917. The church was built in 1927 and was designed to house a set of English bells, but none were installed. Alan Regin, David Smith and other bell ringers from around the UK raised £195,000 to cast and install the eight bells at the church to rectify this.
The bells were transported to Belguim on the backs of two preserved lorries manufactured in 1915, both of which saw service on the Western Front before being placed in the aisle of the church for their dedication ceremony. The fifth bell was cast with a dedication to “The Workers of the Royal Small Arms Factory” with an accompanying dedication in the book of remembrance,
“The RSA Trust are proud to be the custodians of the former Royal Small Arms factory in Enfield. This inscription is in recognition of the dedication of the factory workers whose efforts in manufacturing the Lee Enfield Rifle contributed so much to support the Allied troops. It is also in memory of the many workers who sacrificed their lives in the WW1 battles.”
The RSA Trust is grateful for the efforts of Alan, David and their fellow bell ringers in seeing this important deed done and look forward to hearing the bells ring out in the autumn.
In September 2016 The RSA Trust agreed to sponsor a dedication on one of a set of eight ‘full circle’ tuned church bells, destined for St. George’s Anglican Church in Ypres, Belgium. The church was built as a memorial to the fallen British troops from the First World War battlefields in the 1920s. However a ring of bells was not installed at the time of construction. This is now being remedied by Alan Regin, David Smith and the rest of the Bells4StGeorges team who have raised £195,000 to cast and install the bells in time for the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele.
On Thursday 1st June RSA Trustee Michael Polledri MBE and our Heritage Manager attended the John Taylor & Co Bell Foundry in Loughborough to witness the fifth and seventh bells being cast. The day included a visit to the Bell Foundry Museum as well as a tour of the forge and tuning shops. We are very grateful to David and Alan for their tireless work in not only arranging the casting of these memorial bells but Alan’s work to research and tell the stories of all 1,077 bell ringers who fell in the First World War. Michael was also able to enjoy a recital by the group of bell ringers in the Foundry’s own belfry.
The RSA Trust’s dedication appears on the fifth bell and is dedicated to “The Workers of the Royal Small Arms Factory”. The set of bells will be taken to Ypres at the end of august. The video and photos below give a flavour of the casting.
The forge at John Taylor & Co during a casting
wo of the completed bells awaiting their head stocks
A bell being tuned in the tuning shop
Trustee Michael Polledri MBE poses next to a medieval bell in the museum
We have a very close connection with Villa Scalabrini, having funded a series of projects at the nursing home in Shenley since 2011 that make resident’s lives comfortable and improve the resilience of the home. Some of the projects undertaken thanks to grants from the RSA Trust include:
Developing a “dementia garden” and roof terrace for residents
Creating a sky ceiling for a theraputic room
Converting a barn into a function room to help the Villa raise funds for itself
Key Facts: Children’s International Voices Enfield
Funded since: 2011
Total amount funded: £53,127
Our Relationship to Children’s International Voices Enfield
Our trustees were blown away by the commitment of Drs. June & Christopher Keyte and the quality of their musical teaching to children and young adults of all abilities in Enfield. The choirs in a way had become a victim of their own success and the Keytes needed to expand their administration and appoint staff to manage the workload. The RSA Trust has since funded around £11,000 per annum to provide this much needed support.
Since the Trust started funding the choirs they have gone on to appoint a director of music and permanent administrator, ensuring their long term viability.
Our Relationship to Edmonton Eagles Amateur Boxing Club
Edmonton Eagles have been instrumental in turning large numbers of young men and boys away from crime through use of after school amateur boxing clubs. The club also works closely with enact who regularly run sessions for young people on Enfield Island Village.
The Club have been endorsed by the Metropolitan Police, local schools and national sporting associations. They have won the Queen’s award for their activities in reducing crime and encouraging the take up of sport in Edmonton and elsewhere in Enfield.
They have also been extending the offer of the club to young people with disabilities and learning difficulties, improving the self esteem and physical health of these young people.
Nightingale Cancer Support is a growing and well respected charity in North London, providing support to individuals suffering from cancer as well as their families and carers. Formed in 2002, the charity works closely with health and social care providers to give training, counselling and advocacy to those who need it.
Since 2011 we have funded a variety of programmes, including:
Funded since: 2004
Total amount funded: £1.43 million
Our Relationship to Enterprise Enfield
Our relationship with Enterprise Enfield goes back to before the RSA Island Centre (let alone the RSA Trust) was developed. Our founding four trustees were all Board members of Enterprise Enfield and tasked with bringing the Main Machine Shop of the Royal Small Arms Factory back into use.
Since 2004 we have funded a variety of programmes, including:
Establishing a loan fund for start up businesses
Funding a newsletter
Starting up a women’s networking club
Our flagship funding scheme, the RSA Trust Inspiring Women programme was established in 2008 and has seen cohorts of women from Enfield undergo an intensive six month programme of coaching and support to either help them return to the workplace or to found their own businesses. This scheme has been so successful that it has attracted the attention of the European Union which has provided funding to open up the scheme to participants from Haringey and Waltham Forest! We have funded around £845,000 since 2008. One of the programme’s recent graduates went on to start a care agency and and now rents a unit at the RSA Island Centre, demonstrating the ethos of the RSA Trust perfectly.
We also provide £30,000 per annum for business counselling, open to all businesses in Enfield.
The RSA Trust are pleased to announce that we have renewed our grants to Enterprise Enfield for the Inspiring Women Programme, for a ninth year, as well as funding for general business counselling. In total the RSA Trust is donating £120,000 this year to Enterprise Enfield. You can find out more about our relationship with Enterprise Enfield here. To apply to take part in the Inspiring Women programme please get in touch directly with Enterprise Enfield.
Inspiring Women, 2009
RSA Trust Logo
This September the RSA Trust also agreed to fund a sky ceiling at Villa Scalabrini in Hertfordshire for £17,500 and to sponsor a memorial bell for St. George’s Anglican Church in Ypres. The donation will allow the charity to add a dedication to the bell. The RSA Trust has chosen to dedicate the donation to the Workers of the Royal Small Arms Factory.
We are pleased to report the annual opening of the RSA Interpretation Centre as part of London Open House received around 200 visitors on Saturday. An added attraction this year was the last minute inclusion of Film London’s Kino Van, showing historic newsreel footage from around the Enfield area.
The directors would like to thank Ray Tuthill and his volunteers from the Royal Small Arms Factory Apprentices’ Association for manning the Interpretation Centre as well as bringing the story of the Factory to life with their memories of working at the factory.
Funded since: 2004
Total amount funded: £1.17 million
The Youth Club at the RSA Island Centre
Young people’s dance project, 2009
Young people taking part in the Thames Pageant
Our Relationship to enact
The Enfield Island Youth & Community Trust (EIYCT) was formed in 2003 to provide facilities for for 11-18 year olds on Enfield Island Village and the surrounding area. Today, operating under the name enact it provides activities and support for children and young adults between the ages of 0 through to 25. This has been the result of a powerful partnership between Oasis Enfield, the RSA Trust and other local community groups.
Our relationship with EIYCT goes back to before the RSA Trust was founded, when our commercial arm, RSA Island Village Ltd, granted £20,000 to help set up a youth club at the RSA Island Centre. Our chairman, Gary Walker, sat as a trustee of the charity (and continues to do so) along with other men and women with impeccable track records in delivering successful projects:
Representatives from London & Quadrant Housing Association
Local Ward Councillor Norman Ford (chairman, retired 2012, resigned EIYCT chair 2016)
A representative from the Enfield Island Village Trust
Representatives from the London Borough of Enfield’s Youth Service
Oasis Enfield has provided youth workers for EIYCT since the charity was founded. In 2010 the club underwent major expansion with the appointment of a Children & Families Worker and the establishment of a group for 7-11 year olds: Kidz Club. In 2013 a third club was added to the mix, Club 6-8, for 11-13 year olds. Since then clubs for younger children have started, as well as family groups and gardening groups. This wider level of community participation has led to EIYCT rebranding itself as enact to take account of the proactive role it has in the community around Enfield Island Village and beyond.