WORK on refurbishing the bells of Otley Parish Church is underway.

The £28,565 project began on August 29 when the historic bells were dismantled to allow most of the moveable parts, apart from the instruments themselves, to be taken away for servicing.

The current peal of eight bells, meanwhile, are now silent and sitting on temporary wooden beams in the bell chamber of the church's tower.

The refurbishment work is being undertaken by Taylors of Loughborough and is expected to be completed in October.

Otley Bell Ringer Claire Bowman said: "Over the next three to four weeks the iron framework that supports the bells will be cleaned, inspected and repainted.

"It is 95 years since the last major refurbishment took place so this will be quite a job. "The plan is that the bells will be reinstated and made ready for ringing again by mid-October, all being well.

"Otley Parish Church's bells have rung over Otley for services, weddings, funerals and other special local and national events since at least 1748.

"The current bells were recast in 1922 using the metal of the original bells and fortunately, all remain in excellent condition.

"Completion of the renovation project will secure the future of this historic treasure for at least the next 100 years."

The progress of the restoration work can be followed on the Otley Bells Facebook page and at .

More information about the rich history of the bells, meanwhile, will be on disply at All Saints Church this weekend as part of its Heritage Open Days activities.

Talks, trails and presentations on the church's ancient memorials and stained glass windows will also be held between 10am and 4.30pm on Friday, September 8 and Saturday, September 9; and from noon to 4.30pm on Sunday, September 10.

Otley Bell Ringers will hold a potentially final fundraising event, a quiz night, in support of the project at All Saints on Friday, September 29.

Tickets cost £5 each and teams are limited to a maximum of six members.For more details contact Gill Brook on 07703 192907, e-mail .