What should Norfolk's new beach bell be named?

An artist's impression of the Time and Tide Bell, which will be installed on the beach in Happisburgh. 

An artist's impression of the Time and Tide Bell, which will be installed on the beach in Happisburgh. - Credit: Happisburgh Time and Tide Bell

It will be a poignant reminder of the march of time and the evolving relationship between the land and the sea. 

And now the general public are being asked for ideas about what Norfolk's new Time and Tide Bell should be called. 

Robert Payne, Happisburgh Tide and Tide Bell committee chairman, said excitement was building ahead of the bell's installation, which would probably be in September. 

Mr Payne said: "The sculptor Marcus Vergette saw Happisburgh as being on the cusp of an existential problem - are we going to lose the village to erosion? And we're also trying to come to terms with climate change. 

"It has a complicated meaning here and everybody we've spoken to sees it differently."

"The bell will sit on the tideline, just high enough for the water to hit the clapper, which will ring the bell as the tide comes in and a bit when it goes out. The bell itself is made of marine bronze and is extraordinarily heavy."

The bell is two metres high and when it is in its frame it will sit about four metres high. 

Half of the Happisburgh Time and Tide Bell, when it previously in the village in 2019.

Half of the Happisburgh Time and Tide Bell, when it previously in the village in 2019. Pictured are, from left, Anne Barry, Liz Dixon, Val Howson and Robert Payne. - Credit: Happisburgh Time and Tide Bell

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The Happisburgh bell will be the final one of more than 15 installed at various points right around the British coastline, with other locations including Aberdyfi in west Wales, Bosta on the Isle of Lewis and Trinity Wharf on the Thames Estuary in London. 

The first bell was installed by the beach in Appledore, Devon, in 2009. The Happisburgh installation has been funded by a £15,000 Arts Council England grant and another £6,000 raised by the community. 

Mr Payne said they were now gathering suggestions for what to name the bell, which will be included as part of an inscription on its side. He said: "The naming is quite an important part of the community engagement now." 

One half of the bell was in Happisburgh in 2019, and it is now being finished at a workshop in Devon. The complete bell will return to the village over the summer. 

There will be an open day where people can learn more about the project and make their suggestions for names on Sunday, April 24 between midday and 4pm at the Church Rooms in The Street.