MEMORIAL bells in Bradford Cathedral were rededicated yesterday afternoon to choruses of joy from attendees of the event.

The church’s bells total 12, 10 of which were originally created in 1921 to commemorate those who fought and died in World War One.

In August last year the church was awarded £79,100 by The Heritage Lottery Fund to restore the bells to their former glory.

Jerry Lepine, Dean of the Cathedral, said: “There’s something about the sound of bells – they bring us to prayer, mark national mourning.”

He added: “They say something words cannot say, they have a language of their own.”

The bells were silenced in January this year when they were taken to Loughborough to be restored by bell foundry Taylor and Co, who hold a long-standing relationship with the Cathedral.

They were returned in March before ringing out once again on April 2 for Easter.

The funding has helped set up a wider project that will also incorporate a focus on educating people about the history of the bells and bell-ringing and highlighting the cathedral and the stories it tells about the city.

One revelation of this has been the importance in the history of the bells of a man named Joe Hardcastle.

Diane Hadwen, Heritage Education Officer for the Cathedral, said how on beginning research, everyone involved expected to see cited names in the archives, but Mr Hardcastle’s name kept popping up.

A working-class man, who acted as a bell-ringer at the Cathedral until 1951, it was Mr Hardcastle who had the biggest influence on the decision to restore its original two bells and to introduce 10 bells in memory of WWI.

Mrs Hadwen said the project aimed to champion the ordinary people of Bradford.

She said: “It’s often the small people who have most power.”

A number of guests were present at the rededication event including, the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, members of the community who had helped with the project, and even those who had sent letters of support throughout the ongoing process.

Paul Maybury, Canon Precentor, said: “It’s great to have got to this stage in the project and to see the fruit of significant hard work from a wide variety of people.”

He said: “Most importantly, it’s good to be hearing the bells.”

Patsy Hayes, a former teacher and now part of the sewing group at the cathedral, said: “It’s just wonderful, isn’t it? So lovely for Bradford. It’s struggled for a long time, so it’s very uplifting to hear this.”

The exhibition which incorporates banners, books, films and even an interactive game, will run until September.