Bells for Christmas to help flood hit Sowerby Bridge

The bells will ring out at a Sowerby Bridge church after more than 30 years of silence - just in time for Christmas.

A new electronic bell sound system is being installed at Christ Church to herald in Christmas and the New year. The new system could also form a vital part of the town’s flood response plan as they will be used as an early warning system as part of the flood response plans for Sowerby Bridge which was badly hit by the Boxing Day floods.

Helen Pedley, chair of the Parochial Church Council, said: “The idea to “Restore the voice of Christ Church” was initially proposed in November last year, when we first thought about returning to the custom of ringing bells to inform everyone that services were being held.

“We have looked to modern technology to replace them and this will be a digital bell sound system, which reproduces the sound of traditional church bells with a number of differently programmed peals, with the subtle harmonic resonance of the original bells.

“Not only will the church use them for services, weddings and funerals but after the Boxing Day floods a bespoke “alarm” sound has been commissioned and it is planned to use this as a warning as part of the flood response plans for Sowerby Bridge.”

The project has been a year in the making and was made possible thanks to a £5,000 grant from the Community Foundation for Calderdale.

Victorian industrialists in the town installed steel bells - in the tower of Christ Church in 1866 but over the years, the bells fell into disrepair and were removed in 1983 for safety reasons.

The cost of repairing them was astronomical and so they were sold and stored at architectural salvage company Andy Thornton, Greetland, for a number of years. They now live in Beamish Museum in County Durham.

Picture above courtesy of Halifax Courier

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