A Professor at the University of Leicester has been awarded an MBE (Hon) by Her Majesty the Queen in recognition of her contribution to the Millennium celebrations.
Professor Lin Foxhall, Head of the Division of Ancient History and a bell-ringer herself, formed the idea of “Ringing in the Millennium” in 1996 and was awarded £3 million in National Lottery funding towards the £6 million project.
The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers put her in touch with fellow bell-ringer Stella Bianco from Sussex, and together they applied to the Millennium Commission to fund a network of bells to ring in the Millennium.
Across the country 150 communities benefited from the project, in which new bells were installed and old bells restored.
Corfe Castle in Dorset and Orford in Suffolk saw the restoration of ancient bells that had not rung for many years restored to their former glory.
Other venues to benefit from the project included Dundee Cathedral, where the first Roman Catholic ring of bells in Scotland was installed; and Selby Abbey, where a ring of bells was completed whose first bells date back almost to the previous millennium celebrations.
Not all venues were churches: Berwick on Tweed Town Hall bells were restored after many years of silence.
To commemorate “Ringing in the Millennium” the Royal Mail produced a seasonal stamp for the Christmas period.
Professor Foxhall said: ‘Hundreds of people throughout Britain contributed to the success of “Ringing in the Millennium”, and their hard work deserves recognition. I am proud to have initiated this important heritage project, and delighted and grateful to receive this award.’
As an American citizen Professor Foxhall receives an honorary MBE, a rare distinction, which will be presented to her by the Rt Hon Chris Smith, MP, Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport in February 2001.
Note to editors: For more information please contact Professor Foxhall on 0116 252 2773 or 2777 (secretary); 01664 822 098, or mobile 07747 066 327.
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