Search

Bell tower fundraising project making good progress

The 'Get Well Bell' appeal at Fakenham Junior School has so far raised over £5,000. Picture: Ian Burt

The 'Get Well Bell' appeal at Fakenham Junior School has so far raised over £5,000. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2017

A project to raise £35,000 and repair the bell tower at Fakenham Junior School is on course to meet its target, after being launched four months ago.

For more than 100 years, the bell has called children to their lessons and summoned them back to their classrooms after lunch.

But its distinctive tower is falling into disrepair and may have to be taken down unless the money can be raised for remedial work.

Staff, governors and friends of the school launched a Get Well Bell campaign to fix the structure last September.

Karen Rodgers, business manager at the 297-pupil school, said: “We are pleased with the progress made so far.

“We’ve raised £5,176 over the Christmas period from 
various events.

“We held a big raffle and there was a themed tree at Fakenham’s Christmas Tree Festival. And the Super Singers went carol singing.

“We have also had many private donations which we are very grateful for. This has totalled about £600, and the private donations have been made up of gifts of everything from £5 to £250.

“We would like to raise the whole total of £35,000 by September this year. The bell tower will then have to be removed and rebuilt.

“We have put a bid in to the Heritage Lottery Fund for £10,000. We will also be raising money with the Fakenham classic car club in the Market Place, and Fakenham Market Tolls has pledged £3000.

“We have a lot of events coming up including a bingo evening on February 24 at the junior school and an Easter extravaganza.

“Children have made wooden bells to decorate, which we will put up in school. If there’s anyone in town would like to sponsor one of the bells for £50, that would be great. We will also be holding a big public event, a hoedown, in June.”

The school is also running a project with the town’s history society on the story of the bell.

It has traditionally been rung by one of the pupils at the school, on Queens Road, for 10 minutes between 8.40 and 8.50am, and five between 1.30 and 1.35pm.

Ms Rodgers added: “There have been a few breaks. The bell has broken on a few occasions when the children have pulled the rope off.

“But there must be so many people with stories about the bell. We’ve got a lot of children whose parents or their grandparents came here.”

A letter announcing the campaign to parents said: “Our school bell has called children to school for more than 100 years.

“You may have rung it yourself if you were a pupil here. The distinctive bell tower is one of the few remaining in the UK and it’s even featured on our school logo.

“For many people, it’s one of the things that make Fakenham such a special community.”

“It’s going to be a challenge and we need all the help we can get,” adds the letter to parents. “If you can give time, skills and ides, we’d love to hear from you.”

Do you have a story about ringing the bell, or can you help the fundraising campaign? Call the school on 01328 862188.

Other news

58 minutes ago

A burglar who targeted empty homes in North Norfolk to steal jewellery and valuables worth more than £40,000 was called a “menace” by a judge, who jailed him for four years.

The chief executive of a Southwold company on £170,000 a year has been banned from driving for six months with 21 penalty points for speeding after losing an ‘exceptional hardship’ plea.

12:21

Three secondary schools and a further education college have successfully secured a grant aimed at supporting pupils and encouraging them to take up engineering courses.

11:14

The director of an environmental services company has praised the fire service after a huge fire tore through one of its warehouses at an industrial estate.

Most Read

Yesterday, 16:50

North Norfolk has been named as a hotspot for property price growth.

Read more
Norfolk

The chief executive of a Southwold company on £170,000 a year has been banned from driving for six months with 21 penalty points for speeding after losing an ‘exceptional hardship’ plea.

Read more
UN Court
Friday, February 16, 2018

A play based on the life of a man who spearheaded change across Norfolk and stood up for ordinary people is set to be performed at the Wells Maltings.

Read more
Alderman Peel High School
Friday, February 16, 2018

A housing organisation has said properties in one of Norfolk’s most popular seaside towns are “beyond the reach” of local families and affordable homes are being sold as holiday lets.

Read more
11:14

The director of an environmental services company has praised the fire service after a huge fire tore through one of its warehouses at an industrial estate.

Read more
Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 5°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Fakenham and Wells Times e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter