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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Barrow bells make long awaited return

CHURCH BELLS that had been hoped to ring in Christmas have returned to Barrow.

The bells from St James’ Church, in Blake Street, have returned to the town after being refurbished.

Work to restore the bells was originally estimated to cost £130,000 but extra weather proofing work and structural improvements has pushed the total up to £180,000.

Andy Pollock, tower captain at the church, said: “We were hoping to have the dedication at our carol service and have the bells ringing in time for Christmas.

“It’s still great to have them back – Christmas might have been the obvious time because you associate it with ringing bells but at the end of the day they haven’t rung for 15 years so another month isn’t going to make a huge difference.”

At present the appeal has raised £166,000 for the projects and a short-term loan has been taken to meet the £14,000 shortfall.

The peal of bells was taken to Whitechapel Foundry, where they were placed on a lathe to remove 130 years of corrosion and damage.

Experts used advanced sound measuring equipment to make sure all the bells are pitch perfect before they returned home.

Once they arrive back at the church, the bells will be hoisted into position in the restored tower.

The bells are set to be re-dedicated at a special ceremony at 4pm on March 9 by the Bishop of Carlisle, the Right Reverend James Newcome.

Visit www.barrowbells.org.uk to find out more about the appeal or to make a donation.

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