Earlier in the year, Bedford Borough Council enlisted the support of The Bedford College Group and ten of their Level Three engineering students to repair the floor chimes that are located on Harpur Street in Bedford Town Centre.
The floor chimes, which were installed back in 2003, have been a long-standing and popular feature in the town centre. Through years of ongoing use, however, the chimes have been subjected to wear and tear and exposure to the elements, which has left them in need of repair.
The students from The Bedford College Group have been replacing individual elements of the chimes, including bolts, spacers and seals, as well as removing corrosion and cleaning and greasing the parts. Once the chimes were repaired, students re-set and calibrated the chimes so that they can continue to be used in the town centre.
These repairs have given students the opportunity to work on a real life project, which has supported their engineering studies by allowing them to put the knowledge they’ve developed through their studies into practice. The students are also learning project management skills and the importance of working towards a deadline and contributing back to the community.
Councillor Henry Vann, Portfolio Holder for Town Centres and Planning, said: “This is simply fantastic: to work in partnership with The Bedford College Group and help their students to get valuable practical experience repairing the floor chimes and to see this well-loved feature return is brilliant news.
“The floor chimes are a popular feature in Harpur Square and children of all ages (and some adults and dogs!) have enjoyed using the chimes over the years.
“We are hugely grateful for the fantastic jobs that the students have done in repairing and recalibrating the chimes and we look forward to the prospect of potentially working with the brilliant students and staff at the College on future projects.”
Karen Campbell, Vice Principal of The Bedford College Group said: “The Bedford College Group is a regional leader in engineering training across its campuses in Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire. However, we remain very much part of the communities we serve and so to be able to help with this Bedford town centre project was not only a useful exercise for the students but also shows we are here for our friends and neighbours.”
The chimes have now been reinstalled back in their original location in Bedford Town Centre and can be found outside the new B&M store on the corner of Midland Road and Harpur Street.