CHURCH bells will be ringing across the town tonight as Hartlepool bell-ringers take part in a national campaign to celebrate St George’s Day.
Bells at St Aidan’s Church, in Oxford Street, in the town, and All Saints Church, Stranton, will ring out together at 6pm.
They will be followed by ringers at St Oswald’s Church, in Hartlepool’s Brougham Terrace, at 6.30pm who will be attempting a quarter peal, a complicated bell ringing method which will last around 45 minutes.
The bell ringing is part of Ring for England, a national campaign which aims to have more than 20,000 bells ringing tonight to celebrate English culture on St George’s Day.
Bells will be ringing from Hartlepool to Cornwall in cities and small villages, and long-standing town ringer Andrew Frost said he is delighted the town is taking part.
Andrew, 64, a retired civil servant who has been a bell ringer for more than 50 years, said: “It’s very exciting.
“For Hartlepool to be taking part is great, we feel like we are part of the bigger bell ringing community.”
Andrew thinks the national bell-ringing campaign to mark St George’s Day is a great idea.
The dad-of-two, who lives in West Park in the town, with wife, Pat, 58, also a retired civil servant, added: “I have lived in Wales and seen how they celebrate St David’s Day and it is the same in Scotland with St Andrew’s Day and in Ireland with St Patrick’s Day.
“I think this is a fantastic idea, it’s a great way of celebrating our culture.”
Andrew featured in the Hartlepool Mail earlier this year appealing for people in the town to come forward and give bell ringing a try.
The response was “great” and Hartlepool bell ringers now have eight new recruits.
They will all get the opportunity to ring the bells in the town to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games later this year.
Plans are also in place for the day the Olympic Torch Relay comes through Hartlepool.
Anyone who is interested in becoming a church bell ringer should call Andrew on (01429) 281767.