Bells may ring at All Saints' Church in Preston for first time in 30 years
RESIDENTS in a Holderness village are being urged to dig deep to get the church bells ringing in time for the commemoration of the centenary of the start of First World War.
The three bells at All Saints' Church in Preston, dating from the 17th century, have been silent for 30 years.
However, residents are hoping to raise more than £23,000 so they can join other churches throughout the country next year in ringing out to mark 100 years since the start of the First World War.
Elizabeth Whatling, appeal organiser, said: "The three church bells are in urgent need of repair and haven't been working for 30 years.
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"There is a war memorial in the church grounds, which includes people's names who died in the First World War.
"Some of those have relatives who still live in the village so it would be nice to commemorate the centenary."
There are two treble bells, dating from 1660, and a tenor bell, which dates back from 1690. The headstock, which attaches the bell to the wheel, has completely corroded away.
The three bells currently do not move and as part of the repair work will need to be taken down and taken to a bell foundry.
The work could take up to a year, so the appeal committee are desperate to raise the funds as soon as possible.
Ms Whatling, 64, has lived in the area all her life.
She said: "It will be quite an undertaking getting the bells down.
"I do remember the bells ringing. A friend of mine's dad was the verger and he used to ring the bells. We used to help him.
"I believe the bells stopped because of the cost.
"In the past, there was a sound system facility installed to play a tape of bells being rung.
"It lasted three or four years before that stopped."
So far, 500 letters have been sent out to residents in Preston, asking for pledges to be made to the appeal.
Ms Whatling said: "We've raised about £7,000.
"Now I've exhausted people to pledge money, so I am looking for other ideas.
"There are plans for a two-day sale in April and a vintage tractor run when the weather is warmer."
For more information, or to get involved with the appeal, call 01482 898681.