CHURCH bells in Mirfield are silent – but will soon be chiming better than ever.
After 144 years, the 10 bells of St Mary’s Parish Church rang for the final time last week.
But in a £90,000 project, six of them will be recast at a foundry in Loughborough, using metal melted down from the old bells.
The other four will be re-tuned – and all are expected to be chiming again by October.
Church tower captain Ian Ackroyd said: “When they come back they’ll be a really good-sounding ring of 10 bells.”
The old ones were out of tune and Ian added: “They’ll be slightly louder but we’re going to put up some dampening.”
Parishioners raised £65,000 for the project and the family of the late John Crossland gave £10,000. Lottery funding also helped.
One of the bells is set to be recast in Mr Crossland’s memory and relatives hope to name it ‘Uncle John’.
Church members hope to visit the foundry to see some of the new bells being cast.
The old bells were lowered one at a time through a hole in the ringing room floor down to the floor of the church.
It came after a celebration was held at which the Yorkshire Association of Change Ringers rang the bells for one last time.
The Grade II-listed building on Church Lane, designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, opened in 1871.
Rev Helen Butler said of the celebration: “We thought it was a wonderful way to share the heritage of this building with everybody else.
“We hope people will come back and see them put up again.”