Musical steps are back in business thanks to Bedford College engineering students


Engineering students from Bedford College have put their theory into practice, repairing the much-loved musical steps in the town centre.

The floor chimes are located on Harpur Street near the entrance to B&M and earlier in the year, Bedford Borough Council enlisted the support of 10 Level Three engineering students to help repair them.

Installed in 2003 the chimes have undergone a great deal of wear and tear over the last 19 years, so required some TLC.

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 repaired, students re-set and calibrated the chimes so that they can continue to be used by musically inclined passersby in the town centre.

Working on a ‘real-life’ project has allowed the students to put the knowledge they’ve developed through their studies into practice. It’s also given them practical project management skills and an understanding of the importance of working towards a deadline and contributing back to the community.

“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,” said Cllr Henry Vann, portfolio holder for town centres and planning.

“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.”

Vice-principal of The Bedford College Group, Karen Campbell, 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.

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