LEDBURY bellringers and their friends entertained an audience at the Market Theatre, as part of their £280,000 appeal, A Bell to Remember.

There was a packed house on Wednesday, October 23 for a 90 minute show called, appropriately enough, A Bell to Remember.

And it was very much a community celebration.

Ledbury’s tower captain, Tim Keyes said: “The audience were taken through 1000 years of history, interspersed with dramatic scenes, poems, prose and music. As guests arrived, including the Mayor of Ledbury and the Deputy Lieutenant of Herefordshire, children from Ledbury Primary School entertained them with tunes on handbells before launching the show with a colourful and lively rendering of ‘Oranges and Lemons’.

“Students from John Masefield High School helped to devise their own dramatic interpretation of the poem ‘In summertime on Bredon’. Medieval myths and comic scenes about the bad behaviour of bellringers in Victorian times were balanced by touching tales of romance, the grim realities of war and religious persecution, and the wave of relief when the news of peace reached Ledbury on November 11,1918. Poet John Masefield was remembered for his part in leading a fundraising effort to repair and restore the bells in the 1950s.”

Mr Keyes added: “The bellringers are currently attempting to raise about £280,000 to help keep the Ledbury bells ringing over the town. It is hoped that at least half this sum will come from grant funding, including the National Lottery Heritage Fund, but the rest will require the support of local people, businesses and other organisations.

“One part of the project, launched at the show last Wednesday, is the refurbishment of the 22 hammers which strike the outside of the bells to produce the clock chimes and the carillon tunes which are such a familiar daily sound across the town. The cost per hammer is about £500. The ringers are therefore inviting local people to consider “putting their name to a note” by sponsoring the repair of one of these hammers. Sponsors will be recognised with a special plaque in the belfry.”

Further details: 07577 720154 / 01531 579021.