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Aussie church bells set off on epic journey back to Whitechapel from Queensland

PUBLISHED: 19:34 17 April 2012

Church bells believed to be the oldest in Queensland, Australia, have this week started a journey back to Whitechapel, 125 years later, for a £100,000 restoration.

The set of nine bells were originally cast by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry before being installed at St Paul’s Anglican Church in Maryborough in 1887.

Neil Thomas from the foundry on Whitechapel Road supervised as the bells were carefully removed from the church.

He told local reporters: “We had some very efficient helpers in Maryborough who did the initial groundwork. We basically opened up the roof and lifted the bells out by crane. The bells will last for many more years once they are restored.”

So far Maryborough residents have raised half of the restoration cost.

Church warden Ian Miles said: “The bells are going back to the great great grandson of the guy who originally cast them. Parts of the bells need replacing and bearings need to be remade. The bells are bronze, but they have steel stirrups that have begun to rust.”

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