October 21st, 2016

David Cameron rings the changes in Leek Wootton

Updated: 1:28 pm, Jul 02, 2015

THE BELLS at All Saints’ Church in Leek Wootton should now be good for a few more centuries.

The 655 year-old bells have been silent since January after being taken away for much-needed restoration work.

Dating back to 1360, the bells have seen 30 monarchs on the English throne, from Edward III through to the current Queen Elizabeth.

The bells were sent to specialists in Leicestershire where they were repaired and even saw a visit from Prime Minister David Cameron who rang the newly-casted treble bell. The oldest and largest bell, the 355kg tenor bell, will still chime to tell people the time but has been retired from the chorus.

Now the £40,000 restoration has been completed, the church welcomed back the seven bells.

Lesley Eldridge of the Leek Wootton History Group said: “Its lovely to have them back, we have now raised the bells back into position and we held the first ringing on Sunday to call the congregation back to the church and everyone said they sounded great.

“The bell-ringers in particular, who would notice the changes the most, said that the sound of the bells was really missed.

“It is great to have all this repair work done to maintain the church and the bells and we were able to take steps to ensure the original stone-masonry remains untouched.”

As well as the bells themselves, the church tower was also repaired and strengthened thanks also to the community fund-raising drive which included concerts, open garden weekends and competitions.