A team of local bellringers are all set to show people the ropes as they take part in this year’s Heritage Open Days celebrations for the very first time.
The bellringers of Bardwell Church, St Peter & St Paul, will giving people the chance to watch, learn, and even have a go at handling a bell themselves on Friday, September 9.
Bell ringing is in the spotlight this year as Heritage Open Days - a celebration of England’s culture and architecture between September 8 to 11 - teams up with the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers.
There will also be bell ringing demonstrations in the Norman Tower, in Bury, as part of the national initiative, which uses the hashtag #hodsbells.
Bellringers across the country, including Bardwell, where a project costing almost £100,000 to restore the bells took place in 2009, will be helping tell the story of the 400-year old tradition of English-style change ringing.
Dave Ray, who was a project manager and fundraiser for the Bardwell Church restoration project, said: “Since the restoration, Bardwell Church has become a nationally recognised teaching centre for bellringing with many local people taking up the activity.”
Heritage Open Days, is the largest heritage festival in the country. Forty one events have been lined up across Bury St Edmunds and surrounding area including open days, walks, talks, tours and displays.
Some locations are not normally open to the public and all will be open free of charge. People will be able to discover local architecture, gardens, wildlife, history and archeology. Events include a behind-the-scenes look at locations including the fire station, St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s collections room and the Old Cannon Brewery.
The Great War Huts in Hawsted will also open its doors, Lackford Lakes will offer guided walks and Bury library will be the starting point for fun Family Heritage Trail.
Cllr Joanna Rayner, St Edmundsbury Borough Council portfolio holder for leisure and culture, said: “Heritage Open Days is a wonderful opportunity for people to discover the hidden histories on our doorstep through special open days, walks, talks and guided tours.”