A £30,000 ‘ap-peal’ has been launched to improve one of the Seven Wonders of Wales – Gresford’s church bells.
It is hoped to buy an additional two new bells to create a standalone light ring of six at All Saints’ Church.
Tower captain Hilton Roberts says the new bells will maintain the excellent sound and also encourage more youngsters to take up ringing as many now find the existing bells too heavy.
Gresford has 16 ringers aged from 10 to 70. The church is a popular attraction for tourists and ringers from across the country because of the bells’ inclusion in the ‘Famous Seven’.
“The bells are physically demanding to ring and it is not possible to attract youngsters under the age of 15 years,“ said Mr Roberts.
He added: “In 2006 four light (in weight and sound) bells were installed to enable more people to learn to ring. This has been quite successful and though we attract a steady intake of new ringers, about half are forced to leave because they do not have the strength to ring the heavy bells.
“In order to provide a better ring of bells which can by rung by a much greater range of abilities we are hoping the two additional bells will create a strand alone light ring of six. This will help us to maintain the art of bell ringing in Gresford, ensuring a future for our famous bells and providing an activity open to all ages and abilities.” said Mr Roberts.
Some youngsters in the village are already using bell rings as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.
Gresford Community Council is supporting the appeal and Mr Roberts is hopeful of major grant aid towards the cost.
Anyone who is interested in bellringing can call Mr Roberts, who will organise a tour of the tower and explain details of training, on 01978 852182.