THE bells will ring out once again at a church near Ledbury.

Six bells that hung in the belfry at the church of St Phillip and St James in Tarrington were taken away to be fixed in February as they were in danger of becoming unusable.

However, thanks to a cash injection of £30,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund the bells rang out again on Tuesday.

The Rev John Watkins said the bells looked "splendid".

Rev Watkins said: "The bells arrived on the back of a lorry at 8.30am.

"They looked splendid and it was curiously moving to see the first one raised on a chain up into its proper place. There is every chance that there will be no reason to take any of them out or away again for another couple of hundred years. This was the first time in living memory that the bells had left the village. The oldest bell dates from about 1750 and the most recent was recast in 1923."

Rev Watkins said around 70 people attended a party at the church to welcome the bells home.

He said: "Many people said how delighted they were at what was being done and how they had missed both the bells on Sunday as well as the striking of the clock. The clock which strikes on the hour on the tenor bell has been described as the 'pulse of Tarrington'."

As well as to signal their homecoming, the bells rang out in celebration of a local man, George Evesham, who died of his war injuries just after the village war memorial was completed in around 1921.

Mr Evesham usually rang the tenor bell and the church is now applying for permission to add his name to the monument.

As part of the Heritage Lottery funded project, an exhibition about Mr Evesham is being created in the church and over the last few months local historians have discovered a lot about his background and life in Tarrington.

Anyone wanting to get a closer look at the bells can visit the church on Saturday, where it will host its church fete, which will raise money to build a small kitchen and toilet in the church.