The bells are ringing out for one last time

The 170-year-old bells of St Michael's Church, Kirkham will ring for the last time on Sunday before being replaced.

Wednesday, 26th October 2016, 7:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th October 2016, 4:45 pm
The bellringers of St Michaels Church

Ahead of that, this morning, a final quarter peal on the bells will be sounded in tribute to the 7th Battalion of the Royal North Lancashire Regiment, whose sacrifice on the fields of battle is commemorated in the church.

The tribute comes 97 years, practically to the day, since the opening of the Memorial House at the church, which was opened in 1919 as a memorial to the men of the church who gave their lives in the First World War.

Removal of the current set of eight bells is set to begin on November 14 and a new set of 10 is expected to be in place in late summer next year.

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Terry Williams, bell captain at the church, said: “It’s certainly the end of an era and we thought it fitting for a final quarter peal to be sounded ahead of the a final ring for the existing bells this weekend.

“We have been raising funds for a harmonically-tuned peal of 10 bells which will be much easier to ring than the current set of eight and the new set is expected to be in place in August or September next year.

“We are all very much looking forward to them being in place.”

There has been a church in Kirkham since the seventh century but the present building dates from 1822 and was designed by Preston architect Robert Roper.

The 46-metre high tower and spire were added in 1844 by architect Edmund Sharpe and the set of eight bells installed in 1846 by Mears and Stainbank.