HOT VISIT: A project that will allow a church’s bells to regularly ring out for the first time in about 100 years is starting to take shape - literally.

Last Thursday (September 1) 25 people from Little Paxton travelled to The John Taylor Bellfoundry at Loughborough to watch a new bell being cast for the village’s church, St James’.

The bellfoundry, which was one of only two in the UK that could carry out the work, is linked to the creation of the church’s existing bells.

The John Taylor company originated from Robert Taylor, an apprentice to a bell founder in St Neots, and cast one of the existing Little Paxton bells.

The villagers were also able to see the other Little Paxton bells in the workshop where they were being refurbished and re-tuned.

The new bell, along with five others, will soon be delivered to Little Paxton and hung in a new frame in St James’ Church. It is expected that the work will all be completed by Christmas.

Annette Reed, Little Paxton vicar, said: “This has been a very exciting day and brings closer the bells ringing again Little Paxton.”

The £200,000 work on the bell tower is part of a £400,000 project that will include re-ordering the church next year, removing the Victorian pews, replacing them with oak chairs, re-wiring and installing under-floor heating.

The bell tower work is partly funded – to the tune of £50,000 – by the Big Lottery, and £43,000 of landfill grant, provided through Waste Recycling Environmental, will help pay for next year’s work.