Long silenced Stapleford cemetery bell to toll again after restoration

The 19th century bell has returned to Stapleford Cemetery after its restoration, and will ring for the first time this century at a ceremony on February 8.
The 19th century bell has returned to Stapleford Cemetery after its restoration, and will ring for the first time this century at a ceremony on February 8.

A 134-year-old bell has been returned to Stapleford Cemtery after extensive restoration, and will soon be ringing out again every day.

From Friday, February 8, the bell will sound 12 times at midday and may also be used as part of burial services and civic events.

Councillor Richard Macrae began the project six years ago.

Councillor Richard Macrae began the project six years ago.

The bell was restored by the John Taylor Bell Foundry of Loughborough, the same company which originally cast it in 1885 and which also supplied and maintains the bells of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Stapleford councillor Richard Macrae, who first set project in motion six years ago, said: “It looks as good as the day it was made, and it’s brilliant for the community to see it back here.”

The £8,318 restoration was funded jointly by Broxtowe Borough Council and Stapleford Town Council, and the mayors of both will be at a ceremony to hear it toll again for the first time since the 1970s.

Coun Macrae said: “The event on Friday is open to anyone and everyone. We have invited lots of people already, like the history society and children from a local nursery – because it’s their future now.

The bell was removed in 2018 for cleaning, repairs and modernisation.

The bell was removed in 2018 for cleaning, repairs and modernisation.

“Stapleford has a rich history and it’s important that we celebrate it. This is a real community asset but it’s also just a small thing in a bigger picture.”

The cemetery and its buildings were gifted to the people of Stapleford by Joseph Fearfield, a wealthy lace manufacturer who lived in the village, as it was then.

Broxtowe Borough Council has ambitions to fully renovate the old chapel if a sustainable use can be found for the Grade II-listed building.

Since 2010 various phases of restoration works have taken place, including demolition of the 1950s extensions and the reinstatement of the trefoil windows where they had been removed for extension access.

In 2012, the chapel roof was refurbished and in 2014-15 the mortuary roof along with the Notts Ogee cast iron rainwater goods and spire were refurbished and failed stones were replaced, along with the renovation of the remaining iron work.