The Whalley Bellringers are asking for help to raise funds to add sound control to their bells and to celebrate the centenary in 2024.

After 100 years of use, the eight bells of St Mary's Whalley Parish Church in Clitheroe need restoration so they will continue to be safe to ring.

Adrian West, Tower Captain and Ringing Manager, said: “Fundraising for the Whalley Bell Centenary Appeal is going apace alongside ensuring the local community are kept informed and on side.

"Regular presentations to community groups have demonstrated the affection and interest local people have in keeping our bells ringing. We celebrated Heritage Open Day with a teddy bear zip wire from the ringing room which was enormous fun and enjoyed by all who took part and later that day tours of the tower including ‘have a go’ experiences have led to interest in learning to ring.

"That day we made £700 for the fund. We have already raised sufficient funds to be able to place our order with the bell hanger for the work to start next July but now we need to keep up the push to raise another £36,000 at least.” 

Other fundraising plans include a bric a brac stall at the regular table top sales in the village hall, and the Whalley and District Open Gardens event next July in conjunction with the National Gardens Scheme.

The bellringers are also applying to grant funding.

Another representative for the Whalley Bellringers said: "As well as restoring the bells, we plan to add a sound control system inside the bell chamber so that we can vary the amount of sound emitted from the tower.

"We would still be heard ringing for services, but we will be able to reduce the noise level to allow training, practice and visiting ringers to enjoy our bells.

"Our wish is for the bells to be enjoyed by more, without the sound becoming a disturbance."

In 1924, Whalley bells were recast as eight new bells and after 100 years of hard work, all the moving parts need to be replaced or restored.

Without this, the bells will become unsafe to ring.

For the English art of change ringing, bells have to be hung in a special way to ring by full circle thus enabling precision striking.

This gives the inimitable sound of church bells which ring out for Sunday services and for weddings, funerals and special occasions of local and national significance.

By careful handling, the same bells can sound either joyful or mournful as appropriate.

The representative continued: "It is always an honour to ring for events such as on the occasion of the Queen's funeral and for the Coronation of King Charles III, as well as for more local events such as the funerals of Joyce Holgate MBE and Norman Atty.

"Indeed one of our bells is in itself a War Memorial. If you're interested in learning, then please contact our tower captain. It's good exercise for body and mind as well as fun!

"Our bells are so nice to ring, we want to share them with more people and to use them for training and for special ringing of over three hours non stop ringing at a time. We want our lovely bells to sound out as normal for services but we don't want to irritate the neighbours with the extra ringing."

The bellringers need £50,000 to keep them ringing and to include sound control.

Click here to donate.