A BELL ringing problem which has gone on for decades could soon be over if a fundraising appeal pays dividends.
And to help it along the way, EDF Energy Renewables is backing the project to restore the ten tower bells at St Oswald’s Church in Hartlepool.
The Hartlepool Guild of Bell-ringers (HGB) wants to raise £20,000 to repair the bells which were first installed at the church 110 years ago. Since then, though, they have had very little maintenance work carried out on them.
The HGB is now leading a project to repair the bells, ropes, pulleys and other vital equipment.
If the appeal is successful, it will help to ensure the bells continue to ring out around Hartlepool to celebrate weddings, church services and other occasions.
It will also continue the town’s 110-year association with bell-ringing.
Once the work is completed, the bells and fittings will need nothing more than minor maintenance during the next 50 years or so. That’s why it is vital that we secure the funding and get the work done as soon as possible. Andrew Frost, Hartlepool Guild of Bell-ringers
EDF Energy Renewables, which owns and operates the Teesside offshore wind farm, is supporting the project with a £1,000 grant from its community benefit fund.
Andrew Frost, of the Hartlepool Guild of Bell-ringers, said: “We are extremely grateful to EDF Energy Renewables for this kind donation. The bells are currently very difficult to ring due to their poor state of repair and they are in urgent need of major work. Stop-gap repairs have done little to resolve the situation.
“Once the work is completed, the bells and fittings will need nothing more than minor maintenance during the next 50 years or so. That’s why it is vital that we secure the funding and get the work done as soon as possible.”
HGB has 31 members, with 10 aged under 20. The guild rings the bells in three Hartlepool churches on a regular basis and at the ex-Christ Church (now the Hartlepool Tourist and Information Centre). The organisation actively encourages visiting bell-ringers, from within and outside of the local area.
James Wilson, operations engineer for the wind farm at EDF Energy Renewables, said: “We are delighted to support this initiative as bell-ringing has been an integral part of the local community for so many years. This pastime is recognised by the Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme and equips young people with a range of skills and attributes, including teamwork and concentration.”