An ap-peal-ing way to celebrate

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THE Mail is looking at Hartlepool’s plans to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

In this story, we look at plans to involve the town’s church bells – with every bell peeling in celebration.

But there’s one problem.

CHRIS CORDNER explains more.

WHERE have all the bell ringers gone?

That’s the question from town officials after they launched a bid to boost Hartlepool’s campanologist numbers.

Churches in Hartlepool will ring out in style to mark both the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the town’s inclusion in the Olympic Torch procession.

But it is decades since every bell was run by local ringers and organisers want the sad trend to change.

Long-time bell ringer Andrew Frost needs to hear from more people to make sure the town celebrates two of the biggest events in the 2012 calendar in style.

Andrew told the Hartlepool Mail: “We plan to ring the Hartlepool bells on both occasions at all four towers with bells in them – St Oswald’s, St Aidan’s, Hartlepool Art Gallery at Christ Church and All Saints in Stranton. We also hope to ring the bells at particular points during the Olympics.

“But we would really appreciate some help in promoting Hartlepool bell ringing as we are only just rebuilding a team of ringers after a few years when the bells were hardly ever rung.

“We need more people to learn to ring or to come back to ringing after they have let it lapse.

“There are 32 bells in the town but at present we only have around 12 ringers. We still have some way to go in order that we can recruit and train people so that the majority, or all the bells, are rung by local bell ringers.”

Would you like to join the bell ringing ranks? Contact Andrew on (01429) 281767.

l Are you Hartlepool’s biggest fan of the Royal Family?

Will you be marking the Diamond Jubilee in right regal style?

Tell us all about your plans to mark this summer’s 60th anniversary of the Queen’s reign.

Contact Chris Cordner by writing to him at New Clarence House, Wesley Square, Hartlepool, TS24 8BX, via email to chris.cordner@northeast-press.co.uk or by calling (01429) 239377.