Loughborough’s iconic Carillon Tower is gearing up for a series of events to be held on the weekend it marks its official centenary.
Events and activities will take place on Saturday, July 22, 100 years to the day the tower was officially opened, and on Sunday July 23.
The Carillon Tower in Queen’s Park pays tribute to Loughborough Armed Forces personnel who lost their lives in the First World War and subsequent conflicts.
The Carillon is the musical instrument which plays the 47 bells at the top of the tower and is the only free-standing Carillon in the UK.
“The Carillon Tower plays such an important part in Charnwood and is the focal point in so many events throughout the year. It is important that we mark this occasion and everything that the tower stands for,” said Mayor of Charnwood, Cllr Margaret Smidowicz.
A special recital will be played by the borough carillonneur at 1pm on Saturday July 22 before a civic service at 2pm.
Visitors will then be encouraged to enjoy a family picnic in the park whilst taking in the scenery of both the Carillon Tower and Queen’s Park.
Throughout the afternoon, there will be free children’s sports and craft activities along with information stalls where visitors can learn more about the history of the Carillon Tower from several organisations within the Loughborough Heritage Forum.
There will also be stalls and information from organisations such as the Bell Foundry and Great Central Railway showcasing Loughborough’s rich heritage.
Musical entertainment will be provided by local performers, Embers Duo from 2.45pm until 5pm
The Loughborough Carillon Tower and War Memorial Museum, located in the bottom of the tower, will be open from 11am until 4pm on Saturday, and from 1pm until 4pm on Sunday.
The borough’s carillonneur, Caroline Sharpe, will also be providing demonstrations across the two days on how the Carillon Tower is played, which have proved to be hugely popular and are now fully booked.
Caroline Sharpe, the borough carillonneur, said: “I’m looking forward to welcoming carillonneurs from around the UK to play during our commemorative festival, as well as being able to share the history and significance of this remarkable instrument with visitors to the tower.”
Mel Gould, chairman of the Loughborough Carillon Tower and War Memorial Museum, said: “We are fortunate that we have such a beautiful and unique war memorial here in Loughborough and commemorating the 100th anniversary of its completion will be a memorable occasion.”
On Sunday July 23, a Carillon recital will take place at 1pm before the Charnwood Concert Band perform in the bandstand at 2pm.
You can find out more about the Carillon Tower and its centenary year at: https://www.charnwood.gov.uk/pages/carillon_centenary