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Beccles Bell Tower open this weekend

PUBLISHED: 16:33 19 June 2008 | UPDATED: 07:28 01 August 2010

BECCLES Bell Tower is opening again for the summer tomorrow - with the aim of becoming a new tourist hot-spot in the town.

The Beccles Business Association (BBA) will be opening the tower on a more regular basis and have put up new displays detailing the tower and town's history, paid for by Waveney District Council.

BECCLES Bell Tower is opening again for the summer tomorrow - with the aim of becoming a new tourist hot-spot in the town.

The Beccles Business Association (BBA) will be opening the tower on a more regular basis and have put up new displays detailing the tower and town's history, paid for by Waveney District Council.

The bell tower will now have audio tours of the town to be hired out for £2 and a £5 returnable deposit, and the ground floor is packed with information booklets for local attractions.

The BBA has also employed 21-year-old student Ric Gardner to take people on tours up the tower from Monday to Friday. He has just finished a degree in drama at Kingston University in London, but has lived in Beccles all his life, and has also set up a website for the bell tower, www.becclesbelltower.co.uk which should be up and running within the week.

He said: “I think people don't realise that their town has something like this because they haven't had an opportunity to come up here- it's been open on such an ad hoc basis. The more you find out about something the more it is to you.”

The tower will be open Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm, with tours at 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm, and will also be open on selected weekend dates.

Christine Pinsent of the Beccles Business Association said it provide another tourist information point in the town centre to balance the official tourist centre at Beccles Quay.

She added: “We are promoting things like the Geldeston Locks and the Black Dog Ferry, stuff not necessarily promoted down at the Quay.”

The tower was originally built in the 16th century and has a great view of Bungay, Halesworth, the Broads and even Lowestoft, standing at nearly 100 feet tall. There are four floors to explore, with information on each of them, and a view of the 10 bells which were restore in 1909.

The selected Saturdays that the tower, in addition to tomorrow, are July 5, 12, 19, and 26, and August 2 and 9, all 10.30am to 4.30pm. It will also be open on Sunday July 20 (Carnival day) from 12noon to 4.30pm and the August Bank Holiday Monday August 25 from 10.30am to 4.30pm.

Anyone interested in volunteering to help man the tower should call Christine Pinsent on 01502 715771.

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