THE first step towards saving Evesham's Abbey Bell Tower has been taken as the surveying of the 16th century tower got underway.

The work, a detailed photographic survey, began on Monday, April 28, and will assess the extent of the damage to the iconic tower.

This "exciting" move marks the first real stage of the scheme to repair and conserve the Bell Tower and has been welcomed by those leading the campaign to fund the project.

Sue Ablett, chairman of the appeal, said: "I think it's an exciting stage, it's the first real step towards starting the conservation work.

"We are doing the appeal so the conservation work can be carried out. So to actually see work going on on the Bell Tower is important for us and to the people supporting the appeal."

The first part of the project is known as the development phase and will cost about £81,000 to carry out.

A total of £500,000 is needed to complete all the work and so far £118,000 has been secured or pledged by supporters, including generous donations of around £10,000 by Journal readers.

Recently more donations and grants have been secured, including a donation of £500 from the Vale of Evesham Historical Society.

John Kyte, chairman of the society, said: "The Bell Tower is the iconic landmark of Evesham and the Vale and the society is pleased to be able to support this important local cause."

The Appeal has also recently received a grant of £5,000 from Allchurches Trust Ltd and a grant of £2,500 from The Ratcliff Foundation and the ceilidh on Friday, April 25, raised more than £370 for the Appeal.

A variety of events are coming up over the next month including a Northern Soul Night on Friday, May 9, at Evesham Town Hall with tickets costing £5 available from Bonk clothing in the high street and a store collection at Tesco on Sunday, May 11.

There is also a concert by Avonbank Brass Band and Cheltenham Scottish Pipe Band, Brass Pipe and Drums, at Evesham Arts Centre at 7.30pm and tickets, costing £15, are available from the Almonry Heritage Centre and online at, or from Sue Ablett on 0787 1285606 or