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Muffled bells pay homage to nation's favourite grandmum.

THE State Bell was today being rung at St Paul's Cathedral in memory of the Queen Mother.

The bell, known as Great Tom, was last sounded just seven weeks ago after the death of Princess Margaret.

The bell, in the Clock Tower of the London cathedral, is only tolled after the passing of a member of the Royal Family, the Lord Mayor, a serving Dean of St Paul's or a senior national figure.

It was tolled for Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, and before that in 1965 for former wartime prime minister, Sir Winston Churchill, and in 1952 for the Queen's father, King George VI.

The bell, the only State Bell in the country, was being rung for one hour between 1pm and 2pm.

Tomorrow there will be a muffled peal of St Paul's 12 ringing bells, in the North-West Tower, for four hours.

The last time the muffled peal of the 12 bells was tolled was in 1965 following Sir Winston Churchill's death.

The State Bell was moved to St Paul's in the 18th century from the Palace of Westminster but fell from its cart during transit as it passed the London Law Courts.

The bell was cracked and had to be re-cast twice before it was satisfactorily restored to its present tone.
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 1, 2002
Words:215
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