A set of refurbished handbells rang out in Rothbury today at a performance during the local Music Festival.
When the Tower bells of All Saints Church in Rothbury were cast in 1893 at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, a set of handbells were also produced. These were gifted to the church by Mary Dawson of Ripon in memory of her brother who lived in the valley.
The bells were in poor condition and the set were incomplete when a subgroup of the tower ringers took on board the suggestion that the bells should be restored and used for the benefit of the local community.
The cost of the work was £2,250 and this money was raised thanks to a collection at the funeral of committed ringer Janice Henney and donations from groups including the Reeds Grassroots Fund, the Rothley Trust and the Hadrian Trust as well as the Bell Ringers Fund.
The missing bells have been replaced and now the whole set have new straps and caps, have been re-polished and are housed in purpose-made storage boxes.
Their first public outing came today when the Rothbury Handbell Ringers and Singers performed during the Rothbury Traditional Music Festival.