Ringing in the Good News

Giving life to the mill’s clock and the town’s spirits with the sharing of good news.


It is believed that stopped clocks can have a negative effect on our outlook on life. A stopped clock in a town can make people feel stuck in time and they lose all sense of moving forward. Until September 2015, the clock at Northlight Mill had been stopped for 5 years so we celebrated its reactivation by collecting and sharing good news throughout the town. We launched Ringing in the Good News at our Fill the Mill event and the response from visitors was wonderful.


By reanimating the mill’s sturdy old clock we returned its voice – a tick tock as the hands went around, a chiming bell at its heart – and the people of Brierfield became the vocal chord. All were invited to submit their good news in ballot boxes around the town, and to then ring it in by pulling a brass handle which was tied to a bell right up in the clock tower. No matter the scale of the announcement, the sharing of it encouraged us to communicate and to relish in the good fortune of those around us.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

We announced the town’s good news on a number of occasions including:

► The Fill the Mill event

► The Brierfield Light Switch On

The SHOP, Nelson

We also embarked on What a Load of Rubbish! to explore waste and happiness as part of this project. Waste and ‘overgrown wasteland’ have proved to be some of the most talked about issues in Brierfield and we wanted to try to change the conversation and action taking place. We began clearing and cleaning up particularly bad waste-dumping spots around the town and while we did it, we found and created more good news to be rung in.

Good news is everywhere. This was some of ours…

► Someone stood on the bridge at the mill for the first time in 13 years

► Someone has optimism for the future

► A couple are now approved adopters

► Someone has been out looking for bugs

► Somebody’s mum’s exhaust broke and now it sounds like a Ferrari

► Someone has won a medal in Jiu-jitsu

► A couple booked their wedding

► Someone has now been to the funfair

► Autumn is beautiful

► Barry got a new toaster!

Ringing in the Good News was supported by Momentum and an Arts Council England Grant for the Arts.

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