It’s Spalding’s hidden war memorial and a woman’s passion has seen it ring out more frequently recently.
Jackie Woods says many in the town don’t even know about the homage of sounds to its World War One fallen.
But the carillon bells are ringing more frequently from the South Holland Centre again.
“If you’re not looking for it you wouldn’t even know it’s there,” she said of the bell tower at the venue. “I was telling one councillor who had been on the council for years and they had no idea it was there.
“I don’t want the carillon to sit there idle.
“I think it’s an important memorial that’s a special thing; not many towns have something like this and we should utilise it more.
“I’ve lived in this area for many years and it’s been neglected.
“I’ve been lobbying South Holland District Council and the South Holland Centre and thankfully they’re both on board now.”
A carillon is an instrument where a person using a keyboard plays at least 23 bells.
The bell tower (or campanile) to house them was built in the 1920s atop of the old Civic Centre on the site using money collected by the public for a war memorial for the fallen during World War One.
The bells were made by John Taylor and Sons Bell Foundry in Loughborough and three of them were specially cast with the names of three people from Spalding who lost their life in the conflict.
Jackie says she’s not sure why FJ Brown, John C Morrison and Sidney Simpson’s names were specifically chosen.
A plaque was erected saying “these bells ring out to sound the voices of heroes”.
“I had tears streaming from my eyes when I first read that,” said Jackie of the memorials which were incorporated into the modern South Holland Centre following a major renovation in 1998. “It’s just such a shame they haven’t rang out as much.
“I remember them ringing out from my childhood.
“I love the town of Spalding and I don’t think we do enough to celebrate it.
“This is a good example. It’s something unusual that needs to ring out more.”
Spalding actually has its own official carillonneur in Jayne Shields.
Thanks in part of Jackie’s petitioning, she’s been able to utilise the carillon more recently including playing at the Spalding Flower Parade and town Coronation celebrations.
And she’ll be back playing for Spalding Market this Saturday, August 19.
Jayne sits in a dank room playing and has to close the door to the bells as it’s so loud.
She explains the keyboard is small, so only covers two octaves, and two of the bells are missing, so she has to be careful what she chooses to play.
The lack of a audience reaction is an unusual one for a musician, but she still considers it a privilege to let the bells ring out.
“Its a pleasure to play,” said the keyboard player of 45 years from Pinchbeck who works full time for a school exams board. “It’s great to have someone like Jackie on board and thanks to her and a receptive council and South Holland Centre I’ve been able to play it more.
“There was a traditional apathy towards it, but that’s now changing.”
That’s partly due to the South Holland Centre manager Joanne Mackel’s support.
“It’s wonderful to hear every time and you see people walking past now knowing it’s there,” she said. “It’s a real benefit to the town.”