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Completion of Beccles bell tower repairs, costing £100,000, delayed until next year

PUBLISHED: 14:53 23 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:32 23 November 2017

Beccles Bell Tower undergoing major renovations.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Beccles Bell Tower undergoing major renovations. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2017

The completion date of a £100,000 project to carry out repair and safety works to an iconic bell tower have been pushed back as additional work is needed.

Beccles Bell Tower undergoing major renovations.
Picture: Nick ButcherBeccles Bell Tower undergoing major renovations. Picture: Nick Butcher

Work on the Beccles bell tower, which stands proudly in the heart of the town, is now scheduled to be finished by early next year.

When the project began in August it was expected to be completed by early November, this was changed to December and now has been predicted for the New Year.

A spokesman for Waveney District Council said: “A programme of essential safety works on Beccles bell tower which comprises high-level inspections, stone and roof repairs, lead work and drainage improvements began in August and was due for completion in early December.

“However inspections revealed the need for additional stone repairs to be carried out and as a result, the project is now expected to complete in the New Year.”

Beccles Bell Tower undergoing major renovations.
Picture: Nick ButcherBeccles Bell Tower undergoing major renovations. Picture: Nick Butcher

She added: “This short extension ensures all necessary work can be undertaken as efficiently as possible, reducing the need for repeated erecting of scaffold and limiting the overall costs.”

The council were prompted to appoint a specialist conservation surveyor to prepare a report on the overall condition and work needed August 2015 after reports of loose and falling masonry.

The report detailed the works required to take place over a five-year period.

It included high-level stonework repairs and lead weathering, high-level inspection of the existing stonework, replacement of the lead to the roof, timber repairs to the roof and improvements to the drainage system.

Some minor repairs to access doors and additional cleaning works were also recommended.

Beccles bell tower was built in 1515 and stands 97ft tall above the town, next to St Michael’s Church.

It is open throughout the year and remains popular with members of the public, who enjoy climbing the 122 steps to the top, passing the ring chamber, clock room and bell chamber on the way.

• Are you pleased to see the repairs taking place? Let us know what you think by sending your thoughts to bbj.letters@archant.co.uk

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