The chimes of Rochdale’s Town Hall clock could see in the new year after the BBC has bowed to pressure from ministers who complained about the silencing of Big Ben and agreed to a series of programmes to “celebrate bells around the UK”.

Jake Berry, the Northern Powerhouse minister, wrote to Lord Hall of Birkenhead, the BBC director general, urging him to broadcast the live chimes from the clock above Rochdale Town Hall, which has the same “Westminster chimes” as Big Ben earlier this year.

The Director General has now agreed to broadcast more peals of bells from around the UK while Big Ben is silenced because of the repair work and has told Mr Berry that “whatever happens” the bells of Rochdale town hall will sound this Christmas on Radio 4.

Rochdale Councillor Allen Brett has urged national broadcasters to step out of the Westminster bubble and use the iconic sound of Rochdale’s famous town hall bells on their programmes follow the repairs to Big Ben

Rochdale’s iconic Town Hall, a Grade-I Victorian Gothic building completed in 1871 as a symbol of the town’s prosperity built on its mills and rumoured to have been a favourite of Hitler, designed by the architect William Henry Crossland

The clock tower stands 190 feet tall but is not the original which had to be replaced after a fire in 1883, the new tower was designed by Alfred Waterhouse who was also the architect responsible for Manchester Town Hall and the Westminster.


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