Morecambe’s Time & Tide Bell awaits new ‘clapper’

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Morecambe’s Time & Tide Bell has fallen silent after its ‘clapper’ came loose this week.

Eagle-eyed passers-by may have noticed this week that the ‘clapper’ on the bell was missing – and it’s been confirmed that the temporary device had come away.

The bell is now awaiting its permanent clapper, which is due to be fitted later this month.

Sian Johnson from Morecambe Artist Colony said: “The bell is undergoing a staged installation since last October, with gaps between each stage.

“When the actual bell was installed on the jetty it was given a temporary clapper while Marcus Vergette, the artist, studied the effect of the sea water and tidal movements at that part of the jetty.

“He is now designing the final clapper with its paddle which will be moved by the waves as the tide rises and falls at this spot. This will be installed at the end of April.

“Unfortunately the temporary clapper has come loose and fallen away. No, it was not stolen, it has been rescued!

“As this happened yesterday [Wednesday April 10] we are not sure if it can be re-installed or whether we will just wait for the real clapper at the end of the month – but will keep you posted.”

The Time & Tide Bells are a project started by artist Marcus Vergette in 2009 when the first bell was sited in Appledore, Devon.

The project consists of a permanent installation of bells around the UK coastline, which are rung at high tide by the rising sea.

Rung by the high tide, Time & Tide Bells are sounded by the waves. The rise of the water at high tide moves the clapper to strike the bell.

Played by the movement of the waves, the bell creates a varying pattern. As sea level rises the periods of bell strikes become more frequent, and as submerged in the rising water the pitch will vary.

Each bell has been installed by the local community, to create, celebrate, and reinforce connections; between different parts of the country, between the land and the sea, between ourselves, our history, and our environment.

Time & Tide Bells are being permanently sited at the high tide mark in locations around the UK, from London to the Outer Hebrides.