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Bells celebration at village fête

PUBLISHED: 17:53 21 August 2008 | UPDATED: 10:37 12 July 2010

Following refurbishment of the bells in New Buckenham church, the first complete peal using eight bells will be heard on August bank holiday Monday.

The new ringing gallery, with its glazed screen, is designed so that visitors can watch live bell-ringing in progress.

Following refurbishment of the bells in New Buckenham church, the first complete peal using eight bells will be heard on August bank holiday Monday.

The new ringing gallery, with its glazed screen, is designed so that visitors can watch live bell-ringing in progress.

Paul Cattermole, a bell-ringer and native of the village, said: “New Buckenham offers a unique bell-ringing experience, not least because the eight excellent bells are perfectly in tune, a rarity in Norfolk.”

A team from the Norwich Diocesan Bellringers will start the peal at 11.00 am, expecting to finish when New Buckenham's traditional village fête opens at 2.00 pm. Visitors are welcome in St Martin's Church during the ringing and a full account of the bells is in the new church guide, now available in the nave.

The fete takes place in the village's medieval market place and is very much a community event, with more than 50 volunteers helping to run the stalls.

All the traditional attractions are there including bowling for the pig, coconut shy, roll-a-penny, crockery smashing, tombola and 'guess the weight of the cake'. There are bargains galore on the nearly new clothing and jumble stalls, together with a mountain of bric-à-brac and a plant stall, games for all ages, a bouncy castle and a free Punch and Judy show.

The village Women's Institute provides refreshments all afternoon and ice creams are on sale, there is a flourishing barbecue run by the village butcher and both pubs are open all day. Musical entertainment is provided by the New Buckenham Silver Band which plays under the Market Cross, there plenty of seating, free car parking and admission is free.

Fête chairman Clive Rush said: “People come from all over Norfolk and north Suffolk to our fête because of its traditional nature and lovely setting in the market place. There are no commercial traders because it's all run by the village itself and the profits are divided between the New Buckenham's church, chapel and village hall.”

The grand raffle is drawn as the fete draws to a close.

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