Wind farm brings church chimes back to local village

The sound of tuneful church bells will return to a village near Doncaster thanks to funding from a local wind farm.

Villagers at Hooton Pagnell are celebrating after a project to repair their 19th century church clock bells was awarded a grant from the community fund linked to Hampole Wind Farm.

The community fund is provided by green energy company Good Energy, which owns and operates the wind farm.

James Ryle, Communities Manager at Good Energy, said: “We think it’s important that local communities can share in the rewards of renewable energy projects.

“The fund is our way of saying thank you to residents living near our wind farm at Hampole and we’re pleased it’s now starting to support such great local causes.”

Mark Warde Norbury, Chair of Hooton Pagnell Parish Council, whose great-great grandmother was instrumental in fitting the first church bells, said: “The grant is fantastic news. The beautiful tunes playing from the bells each day have been central to village life here in Hooton Pagnell, attracting visitors from some distance who come to enjoy their unique sound.

“Without the help of the community fund it would have taken us another two years to raise the money needed to repair the bells, a delay which could have left them irreparable.”

Clock restoration specialists, Cumbria Clock Company, whose previous projects include Big Ben and Hampton Court Palace, will carry out the repairs. The work will involve replacing all  the musical hammers and fixing the clock’s 'engine' mechanism.

The grant of £6,100 was among the first round of awards totalling £16,400 made to four local community projects.

Grants were also awarded to help improve facilities at Hooton Pagnell Youth Club; for an upgraded heating system at St Michael & All Angels Church in Skelbrooke; and to a local Neighbourhood Watch group in Pickburn for a community flowerbed and bench.

Funding to support local charitable and community projects will continue for the 25 year lifetime of the wind farm. 

Ready to switch?