Kington Langley bell tower can be restored

This Is Wiltshire: Pupils Oliver and Emily are happy the clock tower, inset, will be fixed Pupils Oliver and Emily are happy the clock tower, inset, will be fixed

THE bell at Langley Fitzurse School will ring once again now enough money has been raised to restore its iconic tower.

The bell tower dates back to 1856 and is part of the original building at Kington Langley, near Chippenham, but it was in danger of being demolished because it had become unsafe.

Thanks to donations from villagers and events run by the PTA, around £5,000 has been raised for repair work.

Headteacher Becky Harris said: “At the moment I think the adults are more excited than the children but I think once the work starts that is when the excitement will kick in for them.

“The PTA has worked really hard to fundraise and we’ve had some very generous donations from villagers including one who moved to Bermuda and has the Gazette delivered to him via email and saw that we needed the money to repair the tower.”

The bell was used to call pupils to school and to celebrate children’s birthdays, but this practice stopped after the bell rope snapped.

Wiltshire Council had recommended the tower be removed and the area re-roofed but school staff and governors wanted to save it as part of the history of the school and village.

Mrs Harris said: “The council has been really good and said it will pay the amount it would have cost to remove the tower, because it is one of their buildings, and we just have to pay the difference.”

The school hopes work can start over Easter and will be finished by the summer. To mark the tower’s return the school will hold a Victorian Festival on the common when the bell will ring for the first time in four years.

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