The RSA Trust is delighted to report that the ring of bells at St George’s Memorial Church in Ypres were officially rung for the first time on Sunday 22nd October at a blessing officiated by the Bishop of Gibraltar, Right Rev’d Dr. Richard Innes.
The RSA Trust was one of a number of supporters that raised £195,000 to see the bells cast at the John Taylor Foundry in Loughborough. Each bell has dedications by donors cast into it, the RSA Trust chose to dedicate our donation on the number five bell to “The Workers of The Royal Small Arms Factory”.
BBC East Midlands reporter Amy Harris covered the story on 1st November:
As always we are grateful to Alan Regin, David Smith and the rest of the Bells4StGeorges team in completing this memorial to the Fallen and especially to Alan in his work researching the stories of the bell ringers who gave their lives in the Great War, ensuring their remembrance.
We are pleased to announce that the RSA Interpretation Centre welcomed over 300 visitors this Saturday, an increase of 50% on last year’s visitor figures.
As has been the case in previous years the Centre was manned by a team of former engineers from the Factory, organised by Ray Tuthill and the Royal Small Arms Factory Apprentices Association. Ray was particularly busy, showing off our recently refurbished John Thwaite birdcage clock. This work was carried out earlier in the year by Thwaites & Reed, its original manufacturers. The Enfield at War display, delivered through an HLF funded project in association with the London Borough of Enfield, also proved popular.
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
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.
Date: 23 Oct 2015
Due to media coverage of a Charity Commission Investigation into Enfield Island Village Trust (EIVT) the Board of Trustees of the RSA Trust & Board of Directors of RSA Island Village Limited wish to make clear:
For the avoidance of doubt, RSA Trust and RSA Island Village Ltd are not to be confused with Enfield Island Village Trust, which is a different entity.
Date: 23 Jun 2015
Every Thursday between 9:30 and 12:30 you are welcome to attend the Ordnance Road Library for advice from Enfield Citizens Advice Bureau.
An experienced Adviser is available to provide advice and assistance on enquiry areas including Benefits, Debt, Housing, Employment and Relationship & Family issues.
The Service is funded by The RSA Trust and is available to Residents of the London Borough of Enfield.
Ordnance Road Library
645 Hertford Road, Enfield, EN3 6ND.
Date: 18 Dec 2014
Gary (far left) and the other award winners
Gary’s Benevolence Award
RSA Trust Chairman, Gary Walker, was the proud recipient of an award at the London Leadership and Peace Awards which were held on 10th December 2014 at City Hall.
The London Leadership and Peace Awards celebrate individuals and organisations who make a noticeable difference with their efforts in the capital. The awards ceremony was hosted and arranged by the Peace Alliance, a national charity that focuses on local communities and initiatives aimed at reducing crime.
Gary Walker was presented with the individual award for benevolence by London Mayor Boris Johnson; the award criteria being “An individual who has over the years shown outstanding care, compassion, kindness, sacrifice and commitment for the well-being of others.”
Mr Walker is a local businessman who carried out the regeneration of the Royal Small Arms Factory in Enfield, which generates a surplus which funds The RSA Trust, a charity that he co-founded in 2004, which in the last 10 years has distributed in excess of £4,000,000 to numerous good causes in the north east London vicinity. He also serves on the board of the Enfield Island Youth & Community Trust, which provides support and positive opportunities for young people in and around Enfield Lock & Enfield Island Village.
Mr Walker commented: “Whilst I did not set out to receive this recognition, it is nice to be acknowledged by the London community for the regeneration and charitable work I have done.”
Date: 21 Oct 2014
For Matthew Bourne’s latest production of Lord of the Flies he has been going around the country to find new and local talent to be part of his production. When Lord of the Flies came to Saddler’s Wells in London they asked local organisations if they would like to host a workshop run by Lord of the Flies Ambassadors.
In July 2014 we hosted one of those workshops and 4 young boys were selected to go to further auditions at Saddler’s Wells. From 800 people Tarik Msaouri (18) was selected to be part of the 25 strong cast alongside professional dancers.
Tarik has been attending Enfield Island Village youth Centre since he was 11.
For more information about Tarik and the Lord of the Flies production please click on the following links.