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Thursday, 28 August 2014

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Set of historic Barrow bells set to ring out

A SET of historic Barrow bells are set to ring out again next week for the first time in 15 years.

The restored bells of St James’ Church in Barrow have been careful hoisted into place in the belfry this week.

The only church bells in Barrow to form a full circle were last heard back in 1999. They have been restored and retuned as part of a £180,000 project, which involved six years of fundraising and a grant from English Heritage.

A team of volunteers have been working with specialist bellhanging company, Nicholson Engineering, to put the bells back in place. The heaviest bell, the tenor, weighs around 620kg.

Now the fixtures, such as the wheels and clappers, are being fitted ahead of the testing of the bells.

Individual bells will be heard next week and on Wednesday at around 3pm they are all due to ring out together. Bell ringers new and old are being sought to join a group.

Those interested in taking part, or just viewing the bells can meet on Wednesday, February 12 from 7.30pm to 9pm.

A dedication ceremony for the bells by the Bishop of Carlisle, the Right Reverend James Newcome, is to take place on March 9.

Tower captain Andy Pollock, of Barrow, said he would like to thank all the volunteers who have given their time to help put the bells back in the tower.

Mr Pollock said everyone involved was looking forward to hearing the bells ring out across Barrow again after so long.

He said: “We have not heard the bells for 15 years. They have been retuned and they should sound much better.”

Mr Pollock said bell ringing was a great activity which anyone could get involved in.

He said the group was suitable for people aged 11 and over.

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