Bamburgh church hopes to ring in Queen's platinum jubilee with a new automated bell

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Bells could soon be chiming on the hour in Bamburgh.

To celebrate the Queen's platinum jubilee, St Aidan's Church are hoping to install a jubilee bell in the Bell Tower.

It would be an automated and programmable mechanism that would ring an existing bell on the hour during the day and can also be used for other occasions.

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Bamburgh Heritage Trust has launched a fundraising campaign through Go Fund Me which has already raised £1,120 of its £4,700 target.

St Aidan’s Church, Bamburgh.St Aidan’s Church, Bamburgh.
St Aidan’s Church, Bamburgh.

“We had a really positive response to the proposal,” said Kate Morton of Bamburgh Heritage Trust.

The village already has an active bell-ringing group but Kate thought it would be a nice idea to hear them on a more regular basis.

“I’m sure many people enjoy the lovely sound of the church bells ringing during bell practice on a Tuesday night,” she said. “On a warm summer evening I love sitting in the garden listening to them, I’m sure I’m not the only one.

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“I have walked through many villages and loved the sound of the bell chiming on the hour and thought ‘wouldn’t this be lovely in Bamburgh?’

Kate, who was a bell ringer herself for a while, added: “What more of a special occasion could there be this year than the Queen’s platinum jubilee, and out of the fondness I have for that lovely sound I came up with the idea for the jubilee bell.

"This will take the form of an automated mechanism that will allow one bell to be chimed on the hour during the day.

"It will also be able to chime the bell for five minutes before a service and can also be used to toll a funeral bell.”

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The early history of Bamburgh’s bell is rather hazy but research by Andy Bardgett found that they were effectively condemned in 1907 but repaired or replaced by 1912.

In 1982 the bells were inspected and found to be in good condition but the bearings and fittings were worn. The bells were removed, new bearings and rope pulleys replaced and the bells re-hung.

Earlier this year the bells were checked and found to be suffering from wear in the clapper bushes. They have been refurbished by Taylors of Loughborough and were recently refitted and aligned.

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