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Barrow Bells - Tower News Archive 2018

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February 2018


Heritage Lottery Fund - Microgrant - "Barrow Bellringing Public Engagement and Access"

LOGO - Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund

Excited, grateful and proud to announce that the grant award for the full £3,000 was made on 9th January, and money released with permission to start work on 12th February


The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has just awarded £3,000 for work associated with the belltower at St James the Great in Barrow-in-Furness. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the grant covers six elements which focus on access, training facilities, and the heritage of the bells.

A handrail to the ringing room will be extended to the top of the tower to help visitors reach the viewing gallery in the old belfry where the visitors can see the dramatic spectacle of the bells ringing just a couple of metres below them.

An 8 bell simulator will provide a training facility that can be used to provide extra training sessions to help people of all ages learn the skills involved without disturbing neighbouring residents. This will be supported by a leaflet introducing bellringing and encourage recruitment by explaining what an interesting and enjoyable activity it is.

The grant will also be used to emphasise the heritage, both historic and social, by creation of a 70 page photobook describing the bell restoration project (including a copy to be presented to the local records office), a leaflet to describe the heritage of the bells, and a plaque to commemorate a long serving tower captain.

There will be open days this year in spring and autumn for the public to see the bells, photobook, leaflets, and find out more about the heritage of our bells and what bellringing has to offer everyone in today’s world.

There will also be an open and free invitation to learn to ring, especially this year for the government backed campaign to recruit 1400 new ringers nationwide in time to learn to ring for the centenary of Armistice day in November. The ‘Ringing Remembers’ website introduces this project, and it is also possible to register online, or contact Andy Pollock (Contact Details) - email/text messages anytime, calls best during evenings or weekend.

Bellringing does not need much strength but offers a moderate ‘workout’ for both body and mind, and is a great activity that develops concentration, precision and teamwork. It is suitable for anyone from secondary school age upwards and develops skills and friendships that will be useful and welcomed wherever you live. Preserving a unique skill, it is free to learn, and can help to celebrate local/national events and weddings.

To find out more please visit www.barrowbells.org.uk for information and contact details. The first open day will be announced as soon as the new handrail is completed and installed, but anyone who would like to ‘give it a go’ earlier can get in touch and we will put you in touch with a tower in Furness and South Lakes.

Commenting on the award, tower captain Andy Pollock said: “We are thrilled to have received support thanks to National Lottery players and look forward to welcoming members of the public to see and learn about these fantastic bells in Barrow, and offer better facilities for people across the Furness area to learn and preserve this amazing skill for generations to come.”

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