LEDBURY people have enjoyed the sound of church bells for more than 1000 years, and now a show in the parish church will celebrate the fact with an evening of music, drama, history and history.

The event will also raise funds for the church bells restoration campaign.

Funding for a large-scale re-ordering of the bells and frame in the tower of St Michael and All Angels is also be sought from various grant-making bodies, including the Aviva Community Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund, because the final bill is likely to top £200,000.

The campaign will also provide a new bell for the parish church, in memory of the local people who marched away to war, never to return.

A spokesman for the fund-raising show said: “The bellringers of Ledbury, with help from the schools in the town and some actors and musicians, are putting on an exciting evening of music, drama, history, poetry and prose entitled “Ringing the Changes” to celebrate the role of church bells in our community over 1000 years of its history.

“They will take you from Norman times to the present day through a pageant of colourful and inspirational individuals, their words and achievements. Have you ever wondered why the English style of bellringing was never exported to Europe? Have you heard the 13th century Ledbury legend of the bells ringing of their own accord? Did you know that John Bunyan, writer of The Pilgrim’s Progress, was a keen but conflicted bellringer? That a local innkeeper (also a bellringer) found himself in court after a row with the curate in the 1880s? Would you like to hear how bells influenced the poetry of Housman, Bridges, Owen, Masefield, Betjeman and others, or a detective whodunnit

by Dorothy Sayers ? Underpinning all this is the part played by our bells in calling the people of our town and country to worship, to celebrate local and national events, to mourn or to come together as a community.”

The date for the diary is March 8, at 7.30pm.

Entrance will be free but donations will be welcomed.