Portchester Community Centre’s bell finally put in place

CONTROVERSIAL The bell tower at Portchester Community Centre
CONTROVERSIAL The bell tower at Portchester Community Centre

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A BELL TOWER that caused controversy over whether it would ring or not has been finished.

It is part of the new community centre being built in Portchester.

The tower was Fareham councillor Nick Walker’s idea and he was there on Monday to watch the bell being put into place.

He said: ‘There were quite a few people watching the crane winch it up. I asked some of them what they thought and they seemed to be pleased with it. One of them even said that it made a nice feature on an otherwise long and boring roof.’

Although the bell is sited in its own tower, it will not ring.

Cllr Walker said the bell had not rang for many years and residents should not be concerned about it clanging now.’

The bell itself has a long history and is on loan from Castle Primary School in Portchester.

A plaque will go up in the new centre when it opens in January so that visitors can learn about its history.

The bell was put in place in the tower built by Botley-based company Good Directions.

It was funded by a developer which decided to invest in the centre over and above its planning contributions.

The developer made a contribution of £10,000 towards the centre on the proviso that the money was used for a permanent feature for the building.

Suggestions for that feature included a clock tower, bell tower and large decorative slabs.