For whom the bell tolls

THERE were no bats in the belfry but it was still spooky enough for eight girls who raised around �500 in a sponsored sleepover in a Plaistow church tower.

The plucky girls braved a night in the bell tower of Memorial Community Church in Barking Road to raise cash for its restoration.

Georgina King Clift, 12, who was among the intrepid group, said: “It was kind of creepy but fun as well.

“A sleepover with friends is always fun, even in a creepy bell tower.”

Fellow congregation member Sarah Price, 21, said that much giggling and not much sleep was involved.

The brave band also included: Hannah Brook, 20, Carol Eden, 16, Cassie Dexter, 15, Vicki Dexter, 15, Maxine Sowden, 12, and Imogen Dickson, 16.

Money raised by the girls is going towards the restoration of the historic building, which is dedicated to Plaistow and East Ham servicemen who died in the First World War. The names of 169 servicemen to fall in the Great War are listed on the bells.

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Memorial Church earlier this year received a pledge of �186,000 from English Heritage to repair the tower but has a further �34,000 to raise.

If you would like to sponsor the girls in their fundraising efforts, go to