Open Gardens and Flower Festival to support Milton Keynes history

Flower power
Flower power
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Hanslope Open Gardens and Flower Festival is happening this weekend, with the event raising necessary funds for the church bells.

Currently, the bells are hung in an oak and cast iron frame dating from 1895, and of the eight bells, the oldest dates back to 1625.

St James the Great

St James the Great

Perhaps understandably, there are considerable signs of wear and tear, with the support beams loose, and the bells becoming progressively more difficult to ring.

If necessary maintainance isn’t carried out, the bells may soon be silenced.

The cost to install a new galvanised steel frame, and for replacement of the iron headstocks, wheels, ground pulleys, roller bearings and other sundry fittings, and ensure the heritage of ringing, is £80,000.

This weekend’s event - happening across Saturday and Sunday - will help swell those funds.

In all 16 gardens will be open to view, and in the Parish Church of St James the Great itself, a Festival of Flowers will be hosted, with 24 village organisations partipating.

“Please so try and visit us,” urge organisers, “With your support we can keep this iconic set of church bells ringing for another century and beyond.”

Opening times are 10.30am to 5.30pm on Saturday and 1.30pm to 5.30pm on Sunday.

Tickets are £6 for the weekend, and parking, ticket purchase and refreshments are all at the Village Hall.