Mayor backs call for Rochdale Town Hall bells to be used whilst Big Ben is silent

Date published: 31 December 2017

Mayor Ian Duckworth has backed Jake Berry, the Northern Powerhouse minister, who has urged the BBC and ITV to broadcast the chimes from the clock above Rochdale Town Hall until Big Ben is back in full working order.

Mayor Duckworth told The Sunday Telegraph: “Rochdale Town Hall’s bells should replace them because they are the Westminster chimes – the same as Big Ben, the same tune.”

Tony Lloyd, Rochdale MP, said: “Just as Big Ben is iconic around the world, Rochdale Town Hall is a source of enormous pride locally, despite being largely unknown to the rest of the country. If Rochdale were to stand in for Big Ben it could make the whole country proud of our great architectural history – and what’s more, put Rochdale on the back of every [HP] sauce bottle.”

Councillor Richard Farnell started a poll gauging support askeing people to vote on whether they thought Rochdale’s bells would 'sound reet gradely'. They could also answer 'Northern time, what’s that?', 'It’ll set whippets yappin' or 'It’ll wake oop soft south'.

Widely recognised as being one of the finest municipal buildings in the country, the gothic style town hall is a Grade I listed building.

The clock tower contains five bells which ring on the hour and at 15-minute intervals.

Despite local support, it is understood the broadcasters will use pre-recorded chimes of Big Ben during the four years renovation work is being carried out.

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