An 86-year-old man rang church bells to mark the start of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, 70 years after he did the same to mark the death of King George VI.

Lionel Woods, a member of Hornchurch bell ringers, performed at St Andrew’s Church on February 6 to mark the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s accession.

The quarter peal of bells rang continuously for 50 minutes to the method of Stedman Triples.

Lionel said: “We rang an intricate method and I think it’s exciting and quite remarkable to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and part of history.

“What she does at 95 is remarkable - to be in the public sight all the time and handle everything so well is an incredible achievement.”

Lionel’s passion for bell ringing began in 1950 at Dagenham Parish Church, where he learnt and became “hooked on ringing”.

He said: “It takes a lot of skill to handle the bell and concentration.

"You have to know the method and strike the bell in the right place – it's quite a skill, bell ringing.”

On February 6 in 1952, 16-year-old Lionel had his first bell ringing experience, which marked the death of the Queen’s father, King George VI.

He recalled the King’s death being announced at around 10.30am in the morning and, that evening, the bell ringing band meeting to ring and mark his death.

He said: “Being the death of the King, the bells were fully muffled, except the tenor, so that at one stroke the tenor sounded as a lone bell which fits in the old ancient custom of tolling a bell to mark a death.

“What I remember of that day is that the death of the King took precedent over everything, even the BBC shut down completely and the radio only played solemn music.”

Lionel remembers ringing every day until the day of King George VI’s funeral on February 15.

Now he only rings at St Andrew’s, in Hornchurch, and he is next looking forward to ringing over the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday.