Fund launched in memory of Norfolk bell-ringer

A memorial fund has this evening been launched in a bid to create a lasting reminder to a Norfolk bell-ringing ambassador, who died two years ago.

Paul Cattermole, who was the official archivist at Wymondham Abbey and a leading authority on church bells, lost his battle with ill health in 2009 at the age of 67.

Church officials gathered at Wymondham Abbey today to launch the Paul Cattermole Fund in memory of the former Norwich School teacher, who lived in Tharston in south Norfolk.

The fund is being coordinated by the Norwich Diocesan Association of Ringers and has the backing of the Bishop of Norwich, the Right Rev Graham James.

Dr Cattermole, who was born in New Buckenham and learned the art of bell-ringing at Beccles, was the author of a number of books and studies into church bells and has climbed hundreds of church towers in pursuit of his passion. He also penned a book on Wymondham Abbey's history to mark its 900th anniversary in 2007.

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The memorial fund will provide grants and will be overseen by trustees, who will seek to benefit interests close to Dr Cattermole's heart, such as bell improvement and renovation projects in country churches.

A particular hope is that thousands of pounds will be raised to have a new bell cast in his memory.

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The fund launch comes after dozens of church towers with bells across Norfolk were open for at least an hour for an open day today.

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