Lincolnshire

Lincoln Cathedral bell Great Tom falls silent

Great Tom bell
Image caption The bell has been ringing in Lincoln since 1835

The main bell which strikes every hour at Lincoln Cathedral has stopped working.

The cause of the fault on the Great Tom bell has been put down to wear and tear. The bell workings will be taken down between Saturday and Sunday.

The handmade mechanism will then be sent away for specialist repair.

It is only the second time the bell has fallen silent since World War II. The first time was during filming of the Da Vinci Code in 2005.

Lincoln Cathedral works manager Carol Heidschuster said: "We do have a problem with Great Tom, not so much the bell but the clapper that's in the bell.

"It has five leaf springs and three of those have sheared, which means we've had to silence the main hour bell."

She said there would still be chimes every quarter of an hour.

"It's going to be out of action for a while, I'm afraid.

"I hope we could get something sorted by Christmas Day but what I'm really concerned about is New Year's Eve.

"The actual bell is going to be taken apart at the weekend and then we need to wait until the fabricator can give us an indication of how long it is going to take to make these springs," Ms Heidschuster said.

The bell, which has been ringing since 1835, chimes 40,880 times a year.

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