Village that was Horningsworda

Tower captain is Sally Crouch. They are raising money for maintenance on the bells.St Leonard's Church
Tower captain is Sally Crouch. They are raising money for maintenance on the bells.St Leonard's Church
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The last time major work was done on the eight bells of St Leonard’s Church , the new Queen Elizabeth was mourning her father.

So this year’s Jubilee made Horringer’s bell ringers realise that it was time to look at getting the bells rehung after 60 years.

Tower captain is Sally Crouch. They are raising money for maintenance on the bells.St Leonard's Church

Tower captain is Sally Crouch. They are raising money for maintenance on the bells.St Leonard's Church

Tower captain Sally Crouch explained: “We’ve got two cracked ones that will need welding and they tend to wear where the clapper continually hits the bell. But the main problem is the sittings.”

That is the wooden structure on which the bells hang and the mechanism that enables them to be rung.

“We’re discussing at the moment what to do,” Sally added. “Ideally we would have new fittings, a new frame and have the bells retuned.”

The cheapest option would cost £40,000 but having a new frame adds £20,000.

Tower captain is Sally Crouch. They are raising money for maintenance on the bells.St Leonard's Church'Horringer village sign

Tower captain is Sally Crouch. They are raising money for maintenance on the bells.St Leonard's Church'Horringer village sign

“We’re taking the bells out and if you don’t do a new frame and in 20 years time the woodworm get in, the bells have to come out again,” she said.

Moving the bells is no small job because the largest weighs nearly 460kg.

The funding campaign was launched on Saturday with an open day when cameras were put in the tower so people could see the bells ringing. The Suffolk Guild of Bell Ringer also brought their Vestey Ring, a mobile bell ‘tower’ in which viewers can see how it all works.

Sally said: “We’ve had a great deal of support with offers of help and offers of people doing fund raising themselves

“The other organisations in the village have really taken it on board and are doing fund raising.”

Horringer has plenty of community groups to help the campaign. As well as a parish council it has a community council, run as a charity for the benefit of the village and responsible for the village fete and fireworks display.

It has a well used community centre and boasts a Women’s Institute, horticultural and bowls clubs, the Horringer Singers and the full age range of scout and guide packs.

While many villages have lost their pub, Horringer has two. It also has Ickworth House on its doorstep where the National Trust and West Wing hotel have helped with community events.