EFFORTS to return a historic bell, which was previously homed at St Thomas' Church in Stockton Heath, to the town are progressing.

The Crosfield bell dating back to 1883 was collected from the village in January and transported to John Taylor & Co foundry in Loughborough.

But fundraising efforts saved it from being melted down and it now has Warrington Civic Society's name on it after enough donations were collected.

A total of £6,000 has been raised, surpassing half the cost of resale value of the piece of heritage including VAT, but further funds are required.

Civic Society chairman John Shipley is discussing the matter with the foundry but is pleased with the latest developments.

He said: "We sent them the deposit last week and so the bell has now been secured.

"We have raised more than half the cost of it and are now looking for additional funding.

"There will be more fundraising events and we will be applying to grant-making bodies. It was really good to get our name on it and now we can focus on getting it back in the town.

"I think we need around £15,000 altogether, which will also help cover transport and installation costs."

Potential homes for the bell highlighted so far include the Halliwell Jones Stadium, Town Hall or Walton Lea Partnership's walled garden.

For further information e-mail warrington.civsoc@gmail.com or to donate visit virginmoneygiving.com/fund/SaveTheBell