STALWART supporters of the campaign to raise £500,000 to repair Evesham's Abbey Bell Tower have been recognised for their efforts.

The Journal-backed Abbey Bell Tower Appeal is bidding to raise the funds for urgent work to restore and conserve the 16th-century tower.

And some of those who have helped the efforts to date were recognised during the third round of Bell Tower Appeal awards, which were handed out during a music festival held in Evesham in support of the campaign.

The awards were an international affair, with the first trophy of the evening going to the Twinning Association of Evesham, New Jersey, whose members staged a fundraising event and raised more than £400 for the appeal.

Sue and John Jenkinson, who organised Evesham’s first AsparaWriting Festival, were recognised for their support, as were sisters Kate Phillips and Liz Nicklin of Harrells Hardy Plants, who opened their garden in aid of the appeal.

Evesham Vale Running Club received an award after supporting the Bell Tower Appeal at its 10k run for the second year in a row, while organisers of the Steam and Vintage Rally on Crown Meadow were also recognised.

Another event held this year in aid of the appeal was the Evesham Bridge to Bridge open water swim, which returned for the first time since the 1930s.

Its organisers, Evesham Vale Triathletes and Tewkesbury Triathlon Club, were recognised with an award and Sue Ablett, chairman of the Bell Tower Appeal Committee, said: "This really was a wonderful occasion, particularly for those watching on the bank, but seemed to be greatly enjoyed by all who took part. Let’s hope it becomes an annual event."

The final award of the evening went to "unsung hero" John Dickman, who Dr Ablett said had provided "a huge amount of behind the scenes help".

She added: “I feel hugely proud to see the appeal linked to such great events, that are not only bringing in very useful funds towards our target, but are greatly enhancing the social scene in Evesham.

"We should consider ourselves very lucky as a town to have so many great events and so many committed people to take them on.”

For more information about the appeal, visit, or call Dr Ablett on 07871 285606.