Rochdale Town Hall’s bells have been named following a special competition that chimed with people across the land.
Judges gave a ringing endorsement to 5 names: Our Gracie, the Bamford Bell, Little Ben, the Bobbin Bell and Recedham. The gongs were also christened with a family name – the bells of Co-operation.
The competition winners were: St Andrew’s CE Primary School, Rochdale with the bells of Co-operation, Holy Family Primary School, Rochdale with Our Gracie, Louise Taberner with Recedham, Gordon Fletcher with Bobbin Bell, Ian Jenkins with The Bamford Bell and Hilary from Cheshire with Little Ben.
The naming competition was launched after the bells received national publicity when they rang out across the land as a stand in for Westminster’s world famous Big Ben, which is undergoing repairs, on BBC Radio 4 over Christmas.
It really a-pealed, with hundreds of brilliant ideas submitted from residents across the borough and beyond – with one entry even mailed in from Australia. Where more than one person had suggested the same name, a draw was held to choose the winner.
Councillor Allen Brett, council leader, said: “The response was staggering, so a huge thanks to everyone who sent us their excellent ideas. Everyone entered into the spirit of the competition and it was great to see so many schools taking part. We chose names that reflect the borough’s values, history and rich heritage.
“As leader of the council I am proud that Rochdale has received so much positive publicity on the back of the bells being played live on BBC Radio 4. This is another exciting chapter in the history of the Rochdale Town Hall as we begin an ambitious £16 million redevelopment scheme for our iconic grade I listed building.”