Restored tower result of years of fundraising

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VILLAGERS who spent the last eight years fundraising towards the restoration of their church tower, are celebrating the completion of the £200,000 project.

St Mary’s Church parishioners in Everdon have been working tirelessly to fund the work to restore the grade I-listed tower.

And now the tower will take centre stage at the village’s grand fete which takes place on Bank Holiday Monday, August 27.

Proceeds from the fete in previous years has contributed to the restoration fund alongside other events including flower festivals and fireworks.

Repairs started back in May 2010 and were finally completed last month.

One of the church wardens, Anne Ford, said: “It looks absolutely wonderful, we are all very pleased with how it has turned out.

“We will also be completing the clock face later this week so it will be absolutely super. I am so pleased the work has been finished before the fete.”

The church received a £95,000 grant from English heritage with the rest raised by villagers. Mrs Ford added: “None of this tower restoration could have been achieved without the generosity and hard work of the villagers.

“I think I can safely say that every single person in the village has in some way contributed to the cost - either by kind donations, organising fundraising events, or supporting these events.

“Even with a grant from English Heritage, we ourselves had to raise a huge sum, which in a village of 350 souls, is a pretty remarkable achievement and we can now be justly proud of our tower.”

The restored tower will take centre stage as part of the village’s grand fete to be held on Bank Holiday Monday.

There will be a contest to find the bravest soft toy as people can bring their teddies and send them down a zip wire from the tower to the ground.

All competing will get a certificate and a badge to show their bravery at the end. Anybody wanting to take part can call Brian Clarke on 01327 361562.

Other attractions at the fete, which runs from 2pm to 5pm, include stalls, books, golf, skittles, bouncy castle, children’s games, jambola, cakes, produce, coconut shy, barbecue, arts and crafts, dog show and refreshments.

Money raised at the event will be divided between the church and Everdon Village Hall.