Bells will ring out for Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations

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THE sound of church bells will be adding its own magic to Hartlepool’s celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the arrival of the Olympic Torch.

Hartlepool’s bellringers will be ringing the bells at a succession of churches around the town in their own tribute to the two events.

Two years ago there were only three regular bellringers in Hartlepool, but since then the number has risen to more than 20.

The Hartlepool bells will be heard first on Sunday, June 3, from 2pm-6pm, joining bells around the country ringing to coincide with the Queen’s Thames River Pageant.

Timings are: Stranton Church, 2pm; Hartlepool Art Gallery (the former Christ Church), 2.45pm; St Aidan’s Church, 4pm and St Oswald’s Church, 5pm.

They will ring again on Tuesday, June 5, from 10am-11.30am, before the start of the Jubilee service in St Paul’s Cathedral.

Timings are: Stranton Church, 10am; Hartlepool Art Gallery, 10.15am; St Aidan’s, 10.45am and St Oswald’s, 11am.

The bells will also add to the excitement as the Olympic Torch passes through Hartlepool on Sunday, June 17, being rung at St Oswald’s and Hartlepool Art Gallery from 11am-noon and then at Stranton Church and the Art Gallery from 12.45pm-1.15pm.

Andrew Frost, secretary of Hartlepool bellringers, said: “Throughout history, church bells have been rung to mark national events and we are thrilled to be playing our part in next month’s celebrations.

“There’s nothing quite like the sound of church bells and it’s wonderful to think that we’ll be joining thousands of other bellringers across the country sounding the bells together for the Diamond Jubilee.”

Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond added: “I’m delighted that Hartlepool’s bellringers are adding their considerable skills to make the town’s celebrations even more special. I am sure it will be a marvellous sound.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about Hartlepool’s bellringers should contact Andrew on (01429) 281767.