Raising funds for St Margaret's Church
The wooden frame supporting the bells in our local church, St Margaret’s Church in Bethersden, has fallen victim to wood rot and insect infestation. It needs to be completely replaced so that the bells can continue to ring out across the parish and be enjoyed by future generations.
The Tower Band bell ringers, of which Tony Stevenson is a member, are responsible for the welfare of the bells. The group has launched a fund-raising campaign to finance the restoration costs of around £89,000. They have already raised a fabulous £24,000 but, clearly, a lot more is required.
The wooden frame of St Margaret’s Church bell tower was originally installed in 1759. However, the oldest of the bells was cast in 1335 (one of the oldest in Kent)). Along with bells from the 1600s, 1800s and more recently, 1953, this incredibly beautiful old bell hangs within the crumbling wooden frame. This makes them difficult to ring out across the village and is increasingly concerning from both a conservation and safety point of view.
To help raise funds for the restoration of the bells as well as for the wooden frame to be replaced by an iron frame, we are auctioning a one-off rocking horse. Affectionately named Bethersden Belle, this horse is a break from our traditional shaped rocking horses and looks more like a real horse. She has a closed mouth making her look more friendly and incredible detailing in the face and body, further adding to her realistic appearance. Her tack is made from the dolls in the belfry and her frame features bells too.
Starting bid: £10,000