Ottery bell-ringers to ring the changes with �7k Lottery cash

A �7,000 lottery grant has been music to the ears of a group of Ottery hand-bell ringers this week.

A �7,000 lottery grant has been music to the ears of a group of Ottery hand-bell ringers this week.

The Talatones, who practise in the town's Catholic Church every Monday and are funded purely by donations, will splash the cash on a brand-new set of 25 bells- meaning the group will own it's instruments for the first time in its 25-year history.

The ringers' current set of bells, which they used for the last time this week (pictured), had been on lent to them by churches in Talaton and Ottery.

The National Lottery's Awards For All fund, which awarded the �7,000, had previously turned down a Talatones cash plea to refurbish their borrowed bells.

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Group secretary Joan Dalton said: "We couldn't believe it, I jumped in the air for joy when I found out. We were refused the first time we applied, and when I saw the envelope come through the door I thought it was too soon and we hadn't got it. This is absolutely brilliant, I can't tell you how wonderful it was."

"The money will enable us to replace hand-bells we have on loan from two churches, which are very old and need refurbishing, with a completely new set with carrying cases.

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"Having new bells will give us the opportunity to encourage more people from all walks of life, young and old to become members. We will no longer be restricted in what music we can buy and play."

"We don't charge for our performances and are totally reliant on charity, so without this, to get �7,000 from mostly senior citizens would have been impossible."

Anybody interest in joining the group can contact Joan on (01404) 815082.

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