Bell Projects in 2016
Woolhope, St George
Woolhope has a 13 1/4 cwt ring of 6. They are rung from the ground floor and are rung in an anti-clockwise. The ring includes a couple of 17th century bells and one bell, the 4th that is around 600 years old. The local ringers have been working hard to raise funds to get the bells rehung.
28th December 2015
Work has started on the bells this week, getting them ready to be lowered from the tower next week. The ropes are off, wheels removed and clappers have been dropped out.
5th January 2016
Today the bells were lowered out of their frame and down to the ringing chamber floor. Tim from Nicholson Engineering came to over see the work.
6th January 2016
The headstocks were removed from the bells and the bells left the church to be loaded ready for their trip to Bridport on Friday.
11th January 2016
17th February 2016
Unfortunately we have recently heard from Nicholsons that three of the bells have cracks and one of them, the fifth bell, which was cast in 1662 and is over 350 years old, will need to be sent to Soundweld in Newmarket for specialist welding. Needless to say, this will add to the cost and possibly delay getting the bells back in time to ring on St George's Day, 23rd April, but there was little choice in deciding to have the bell attended to. On a positive note, the damage has been found before something disastrous happened and while it is still possible for it to be repaired. B Fox
Woolhope's fifth bell with crack
The fifth bell from St George, Woolhope with crack at top of bell, which was discovered during restoration work.
13th March 2016
The cleaning team led by Barbara and Henry the Hoover set about the task of getting the tower ready for the arrival of the bells. The fittings from the frame were removed for cleaning and the frame was then degreased! The rope guides got a good clean and the covers for the louvre were repaired. The ringing chamber has also had a good going over, nice and bright now it is dust and cobweb free with lovely clean windows to let the sunlight in.
5th April 2016
Andrew Nicholson is up the tower today and with the help of Pat, the plates are being mounted on the frame ready for the return of the bells next week!!
12th April 2016
The Return of the Bells!!! This morning the bells arrived on the back of a lorry from the bell hangers. They have all now been hoisted up the tower and into the frame. Tomorrow the rest of the fixtures and fittings will be put in place.
Tenor being hoisted up into the tower. Roger at the controls
Barbara having a workout while raising the second into the belfry.
Marden,St Mary the Virgin
The 6 bells at Marden have been unringable for several years. The villagers have been raising lots of money and a new band of ringers have practicing hard just down the road at Sutton St Nicholas.
16th December 2015
The bells were removed and taken to Taylors Bell Foundry in Loughborough where the bells were weighed, the tenor was thought to be around 16 3/4cwt, it now has a more accurate weight of 12-1-6.
The bells have had a thorough cleaning and new "seating" pads have been cast. The wheels are also being restored with new soling and shrouding. In the tower the frame has been cleaned and is getting a coat or two of paint. Also new flooring and ceilings will be put in and the ringing chamber is being moved further up the tower to its new position. New belfry louvre boards are also being installed before the bells return.
Hereford, All Saints
All Saints church is in the centre of Hereford, the tower houses a 17cwt ring of eight bells. During 2013 it was discovered that the 5th of the 8 was cracked and the decision was made that it should be repaired. Upon inspection of all the bells it was discovered that the treble had similar crown staples to that of the 5th which had caused the crack. As the treble needs to be taken out if its pit to remove the 5th it was decided that both bells would be removed and repaired.
Fundraising started in earnest in 2014 and by Mid-November 2015, with the generosity of many different people and 3 promised grants, the target amount was reached. The faculty notice was posted in November 2015 and there were no objections! The PCC are liaising the Taylors Bell Foundary for a start date.
18th February 2016
Today the bell hangers arrived to start work on the bells. The cupboard in the corner was removed so that there was space to bring the two bells down. The fifth and treble were lifted out of the frame then lowered into the church where they were wheeled out and loaded into the van. They have been taken to Taylors Bell Foundry in Loughborough.
24th February 2016
11th June 2016
Today the treble and 5th were returned to the church and rehung in the tower!!
16th June 2016
This afternoon the bells were rung as an 8, for the first since the crack was discovered in the 5th bell. Well done to all that were involved in the project, a brilliant effort!!